Issue: Commendable progress has been made to provide operational reservists' families a continuum of government-sponsored health care coverage options throughout their military careers into retirement, but key gaps remain.
Background: Operational reserve policy during two protracted wars makes evident the need for comprehensive health coverage options for servicemembers and their families. DoD recognized the need for government health coverage in the 1990s by agreeing to pay the Federal Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) premiums for DoD employees who served in the Guard-Reserve during periods of their active duty service. After 9/11, TRICARE coverage has gradually been expanded for G-R members. TRICARE programs available to Reservists today include:
- TRICARE Reserve Select (TRS). Congress enacted TRS for actively drilling Guard and Reserve families in 2005. Premiums are based on 28% of the cost of coverage for reservists assigned to the Selected Reserve. The 2015 monthly premiums are $50.75 for individual reservists in drill status and $205.62 for member-and-family coverage.
- TRICARE Retired Reserve (TRR). A MOAA-proposed TRICARE option for “gray area” reservists was enacted in 2009, providing TRICARE Standard coverage at full premium cost for reservists eligible for retired pay at age 60. Rates for 2015 are $390.89 per month for member-only coverage, and $961.35 for TRR member-and-family coverage.
- TRICARE Standard. Career reservists with 20 or more years of qualifying service are entitled to TRICARE coverage at age 60 when they receive reserve retired pay.
- TRICARE for Life. Career reservists with 20 or more years of qualifying service are entitled to TRICARE for Life coverage at age 65. MOAA continues to support the remaining steps that will establish a continuum of health coverage for operational reserve families, including members of the Individual Ready Reserve subject to call-up.