Military retirees to pay higher health premiums

The Pentagon says military health care premiums for retirees will be raised slightly starting Saturday and that more cost increases are on the way.

The premiums haven't been raised since 1994 and still will be just a fraction of what civilians pay.

Officials said Thursday that individual retirees will pay $260 annually, up from $230; and it will be $520 annually for a family, up from $460. Yearly hikes are expected in the future. Military health costs have ballooned since 2001.

Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates said in February that he was approving the increase to try to get spending under control.

Other changes unpopular with service members may also be in the offing due to U.S. budget problems, including on retirement pay. But that issue is still being studied.