Sunday, February 1, 2009

Veterans And Military Health Care To Take Large Hit?

This is something not just Cold War Veterans should be concerned with, this will effect every veteran
and current military member.

Reading the latest report from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) I found some very interesting and
disheartening point. Something all military and veterans should be aware of. Everyone knows that the military
is not very well paid, and VA pensions do not allow you to live on easy street.

Some of the "proposals" if approved will hit you hard in the pocketbook. Many of these proposals have to
do with Medicare and Medicaid, but there are several affecting military and veterans. The plan is to increase
Tricare out -of pocket -costs for retirees.

One proposal would eliminate the Priority 8 and allow all veterans back into the VA. But another proposal
would eliminate Priority 7 & 8 which would dis enroll millions of veterans with non-service related injuries.

For working age retirees and family under 62 co-payments, fees and deductibles would be raised considerably.
For Tricare Prime now costing individuals $230.00 a year would go up to $550.00. Retired families now pay
$460.00 which would raise to $1,100. Co-pay now at $12.00 would go to $28.00 Tricare standard and extra
would pay $350.00 deductible for single and $700.00 for a family.

Congress has for the last three years not allowed these increases, but with the state of the economy now
who knows what will happen.

Active duty personnel and their dependents fare no better. Dependants enrolled in Tricare would pay
ten percent of the health care costs weather in a military treatment facility or by civilian providers. There would
be cap on total out of pocket charges. To help in this cost dependents would receive an annual $500.00
tax free payment. If not enrolled in Tricare the $500.00 could be used to offset personal health insurance.

The military supplement for medicare would also see higher costs if this is implemented. You would pay for
first $550.00 a year, plus one-half of the next $4,725.00 charged to medicare. That means a Tricare For Life
veteran would pay an additional $2,887.50 a year.

CBO admits that these charges may have an adverse effect and cause many to avoid seeking treatment.

Now if this does not seem fair and just to you, and it should not. This is the time to start contacting your
senators and representatives. Tell them this can not and must not happen. And do not just write or email
once, do it over and over again. Once is not enough, contact them again and again.

Jerald Terwilliger
National Vice Chairman
American Cold War Veterans
"We Remember"