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Search Tags: TRICARE
The Defense Department has an extra layer of healthcare coverage it doesn't need. DoD's Family Health Plan offers premium health benefits for employees that can't access a TRICARE facility. But the Government Accountability Office says most of the people enrolled in the Family Health Plan have access to a TRICARE facility. Debra Draper is Director of Health Care Issues at GAO. On In Depth with Francis Rose, she explained where the FHP comes from, and why the Pentagon doesn't need it anymore.
The Defense Department's showing negative side effects from a rough transition to a new healthcare contractor in the western United States. Those side effects are because of a 21-billion dollar contract award to a healthcare administration company new to the TRICARE system. Debra Draper is director of health care issues at the Government Accountability Office. She said on In Depth with Francis Rose that cost overruns and healthcare delays are cropping up because TRICARE management didn't pay close enough attention to the company's transition process.
The Defense Health Agency is predicting savings of over $2.4 billion in the next five years by reducing duplication between the services, Lt. Gen. Douglas Robb, director of DHA, tells Agency of the Month Host Lauren Larson.
"For the first time, you have an operational level organization that can directly interface with all the services — get their input, organize themselves, really solicit and collaborate with the services — so we can build a better military health system," Major General Richard Thomas, chief medical officer and director of DHA Healthcare Operations, told Federal News Radio.
The Pentagon's current proposals for wringing savings out of its health care system involve additional fees for beneficiaries, but also try to induce them to use less-costly treatment options.
As lawmakers consider efforts to shore up the Postal Service's financial footing, there's still widespread disagreement over whether the current requirement for the agency prefunding requirement is fiscally responsible, as Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Texas) argued during a House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee hearing Thursday, or an "onerous mandate" only required of the Postal Service, as Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.) contended.
When Robert Gates was secretary of Defense, he tried three years in a row to increase out-of-pocket expenses for TRICARE participants. But Congress voted that down every time.
Family members of active duty service members and military retirees would see new fees under the Defense Department's proposal to consolidate TRICARE plans, as part of the fiscal 2015 budget request sent to Congress Tuesday.
TRICARE, the military family health care provider, is set to close 189 of its U.S. customer service centers. Customers will be able to access all of the same services online or by telephone.
Congress is poised, for the first time since Dwight D. Eisenhower was president, to miss its deadline to pass the one policy bill that's been considered "must-pass" legislation under administrations of both parties. But the measure's only chance of success also torpedoes Pentagon proposals for cutting DoD's internal cost growth. Military personnel would receive a 1 percent pay raise next year.