DoD 2013 Budget: TRICARE Takes a Hit

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta While active duty pay is safe for now, the new 2013 DoD budget impacts TRICARE benefits. - Kevin Connors.morguefileand Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey gave and early view of some of the changes in the fiscal year 2013 defense budget that is on-track to Congress. While military equipment and personnel have been key items on reduction lists, there were a number of important pay and compensation changes that were revealed in the preview of the bill.

Troop Pay Appears to Remain the Same

While the budget is not finalized, in this version servicemen and women will continue to receive pay raises consistent with past rates. Panetta reports that while “Servicemembers will receive their full pay raises in fiscal 2013 and 2014,” unfortunately “we will achieve some cost savings by providing more limited pay raises beginning in 2015.”

20-Year Retirement Plan

Panetta believes that Congress needs to create a “commission with the authority to conduct a comprehensive review of military retirement,” and hopes that current troops will be encompassed by a clause which preserves their existing benefits.

TRICARE Fees Increase

Panetta believes that the value of health care has outpaced inflation, and that to combat the health care costs to the government that they will be increasing TRICARE feeds, deductibles, and co-pays for past servicememebers. While he believes that the service will still be much less expensive than private-sector offerings, he argues that TRICARE impacts the federal budget too much to ignore. This change is expected to be a hot-topic among lawmakers during the current election year.

At present time there have been no updates regarding the full-retirement benefits of Congress members.

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Categories News | Tags: | Posted on January 29, 2012

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