Casey wants to pass bill to help veterans keep current health plan
WASHINGTON, D.C. - With more than 4,000 retired military veterans in danger of losing access to their current healthcare plan on Oct. 1 due to a new Department of Defense policy, U.S. Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) called for passage of legislation that would allow Pennsylvania veterans continued access to TRICARE Prime.
"These veterans have given an incredible amount for our nation. The Department of Defense should ensure that these retired military personnel can continue with their current healthcare plan without disruption," Casey said. "Even absent the passage of a law, the Department of Defense should delay the implementation of this new policy so military retirees can continue receiving access to Tricare Prime. Many retirees on fixed incomes did not plan for these increased costs.
We must do whatever we can to honor those who have served our nation bravely and selflessly in the armed forces," he said.
Casey is a co-sponsor of the Keep Faith with TRICARE Prime Act (S. 1078). The legislation would direct the Secretary of Defense to provide certain TRICARE beneficiaries with the opportunity to retain access to TRICARE Prime by allowing a one-time election to continue such enrollment in TRICARE Prime so long as the beneficiary resides in the same ZIP code as he/she did at the time of election of benefits. This would effectively "grandfather" those currently enrolled in TRICARE Prime.
This change in DoD policy affects more than 171,000 military retirees and their families nationwide, and more than 4,000 of these retirees reside in Pennsylvania.