TRICARE to Extend Dependent Coverage

My thanks to Donna Miles with the American Forces Press Service for the following information on TRICARE‘s expanded coverage.

TRICARE plans to roll out its new Young Adult Program extending parent’s health insurance to adult children by spring. There will be an option making coverage retroactive to Jan. 1, 2011. The plans ensure military families don’t get left out as the new national health care reform.

The new program will allow qualified, unmarried military children up to age 26 to buy health care coverage under their parents’ TRICARE plans through age 26, defense officials announced. Currently the maximum age is 21, or 23 for full-time college students whose parents provide more than half their financial support.

This ensures benefits extended under TRICARE are in line with those all American families receive under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that took effect in March.

Qualified young adults who don’t have access to employer-sponsored health care coverage will be eligible to purchase it through TRICARE on a month-to-month basis.

Details about how much those premiums will cost under the new program still are being finalized. Once the new program is in place, officials estimate that it could extend TRICARE coverage to several hundred thousand additional beneficiaries.

Staff is still determining items like eligibility, coverage criteria and costs. Officials plan to roll out the new program in two phases by spring.

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