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Ask a Vet
Author: TriSec    Date: 09/21/2021 11:58:41

Good Morning.

Since we are here in the post-war era, let's see how our veterans are doing.

This past war ended with a whimper - and a relatively small number of veterans returning, some of which will be separated from service and will need civilian jobs. (Hey - you got a CDL? Have I got a deal for you!)

But those veterans also need healthcare. Ostensibly free coverage through the Veteran's Administration - but of course there's a paid option through Tricare. Some of those costs will be going up.

Military families and retirees who use retail pharmacies or the Tricare mail-order delivery system for their medications will see an increase in copayments in 2022, according to a notice to be published Tuesday in the Federal Register.

Likewise, military retirees still considered to be working age -- those under age 65 who are not old enough for Medicare and Tricare for Life -- can expect to pay more in health care enrollment fees, although the exact amount of the bump has yet to be determined.

Prescriptions for all Tricare beneficiaries at retail pharmacies will cost $14 for a 30-day supply for a generic drug, up from $11; $38 for a brand-name medication, up from $33; and $68 for a non-formulary drug not listed in Tricare's list of covered medications, up from $60.

Eligible patients can save money by using military pharmacies, which charge no copayments, or they can trim costs of regularly prescribed medications by using Tricare's mail-order pharmacy, managed by Express Scripts.

Copayments for the mail-order pharmacy also will see an increase. The cost of a generic prescription will rise from $10 to $12 for a 90-day supply, and from $29 to $34 for a brand-name drug for a 90-day script. Non-formulary drugs will cost $68.

Annual enrollment fees for Tricare Prime and Select also are expected to rise for career retired service members and their families, but the amount of the increase has yet to be determined because it is based on the calculated cost-of-living adjustment for retired military pay, which is usually published in mid-October.

Reading it, the cost increase doesn't seem like much, especially for those of us on for-profit commercial insurances, but the point is there shouldn't be an increase at all. Long ago, President Lincoln provided the motto for the VA with the immortal words “To care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow, and his orphan,”

In the century and a half since, we've tried to follow those principles with varying degrees of success and failure. But like everything else - what is the true cost?

It remains a measure of us as a nation how we care for our veterans. I need not remind you of the fiasco at the Holyoke Soldier's home, do I?

It remains unconscionable to me that the military-industrial complex gets whatever it wants at enormous taxpayer expense, while the things in society that should be fully funded always end up fighting for the scraps.


6 comments (Latest Comment: 09/21/2021 21:00:45 by BobR)
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