Time To Think About Tricare

Representatives from various military service organizations on Nov. 5 urged the congressionally-mandated commission on military compensation reform to take a serious look at health care spending accounts as a means of cutting costs. Commissioner Peter Chiarelli, former Army Vice Chief of Staff, said the service chiefs all have asked Congress to allow changes to the basic fee structure for Tricare for Life, but it has largely gone unchanged since the 1990s. Dick Newton, former head of personnel on the Air Staff and AFA’s executive vice president, told commissioners the Defense Department should be looking at innovative ways to meet service member needs—this could include looking at Tricare fees and cost of living adjustments. There must be a transformational approach to dealing with rising health care costs in the military, said Newton.