Congress urged to block Tricare fee increases

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By Rick Maze The Navy Times

A Tricare fee increase announced last week may be blocked by Congress after two influential military officers groups accused the Defense Department of reneging on a promise of a one-year moratorium on any increases in out-of-pocket patient costs.

The associations take issue with a $110-a-day increase in inpatient hospitalization charges for military retirees and their families using Tricare Standard.

     

tricareIn the meantime, the Tricare fee increases announced last week remain in effect, including a modest increase of less than $1 a day in for inpatient charges for active-duty families and the 21 percent increase in the daily hospitalization charge for retirees and their families.

A Tricare spokesman said it is only a coincidence that the Sept. 30 press release that announced the Oct. 1 increases had been pulled from the Tricare web site.

A new release, with a more clear explanation of the fee increases, is being prepared, said spokesman Austin Camacho.

The increases may not be in effect for long, however, as congressional sources said lawmakers could announce as early as tomorrow that the 2010 defense authorization bill will include a provision barring the inpatient fee hikes from taking effect.

Read more at The Navy Times

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