Military retirees to pay more for health care coverage

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - New military retirees will soon pay more for their health care coverage.  Premiums will increase for new enrollees on the TRICARE Prime plan beginning on Saturday.   Those who enroll in the TRICARE Prime plan after October 1st  will see their premiums increase from $230 to $260.  For families, the premiums will increase from $460 to $520.

That may be the first of many changes.  The Obama Administration wants military retirees to pay more for their coverage in effort to help reign in the federal budget deficit.  As part of that, the President proposed adding an annual fee to the TRICARE For Life plan for retirees 65 and older, beginning next year.  Retirees and military families could also pay more for prescription drugs.   Some retirees said they're willing to do his part to help.

"As I get older, and my income perhaps becomes more fixed, and these costs continue to rise, it perhaps will make it more difficult, but at least for me right now, I'm not too concerned," said Tim Haseltine, who is retired from the Air Force.

Groups like the Military Officers Association of America are lobbying Congress to make sure those costs don't go up too much.  They say the military is a unique profession and the health care benefits service members and retirees receive should reflect that.

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