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Army Medicine: Bringing Value. Inspiring Trust.

Written by LTG Eric B. Schoomaker, U.S. Army Surgeon General
March 26, 2010

Many of you may be wondering how the recent health care legislation will affect your military healthcare benefits. The Military Health System (MHS) is not affected by the health care reform legislation.

As Secretary of Defense Robert Gates reiterated earlier this week, the health and well-being of America's men and women in uniform is his highest priority. Secretary Gates also stated that, "Our troops and their Families can be re-assured that the health care reform legislation being passed by the Congress will not negatively impact the TRICARE medical insurance program, as it already meets the bill's quality and minimum benefit standards. This was clarified by a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives yesterday and is expected to be re-affirmed by the Senate. The President and I are committed to seeing that our troops, retirees and their Families will continue to receive the best quality health care."

We've received several questions specifically about the "up to age 26 coverage" for your children. Based on current legislation, TRICARE is not affected by the health care reform provision to cover dependent children in health plans up to age 26. By law, TRICARE covers eligible dependent children up to the age of 21, or up to age 23 if enrolled full time at an accredited institution of higher education and reliant on the sponsor for more than 50 percent of their financial support. Coverage ends on the child's 23rd birthday or at the end of that school year, whichever comes first.

We are committed to providing you the best possible health care plan and to keeping you, our beneficiaries, informed about any changes to your benefit.

We promise to let you know as soon as there is any more information to release.

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