Bill Introduced to Extend Tricare Coverage to Children up to Age 26

WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Representative Martin Heinrich (NM-1) has introduced H.R. 4923, the TRICARE Dependent Coverage Extension Act, a bill that would increase the maximum age to 26 at which our troops and military retirees are allowed to provide health coverage to their dependent children.

“Our brave men and women in uniform sacrifice so much for our country, and it is our duty to make sure that they have access to quality, affordable health care,” said Rep. Heinrich. “Because of the new health reform bill passed by Congress, Americans who receive health insurance through a group plan will soon be able to provide coverage to dependent children up to age 26—our military health coverage must meet that same standard and be nothing less.”

Rep. Heinrich introduced this legislation following the enactment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the sweeping health care overhaul that will allow all American citizens the opportunity to gain access to quality, affordable health care. Under the new system, individuals with private health insurance will now be able to provide coverage to their dependent children up to age 26.

TRICARE, the health insurance for military service members, retirees, and the families of both, is under the control of the U.S. Department of Defense and governed by a different section of the United States code, so it will not be affected in any way by the new health reform legislation. To provide our troops and military retirees with the same new benefits given to civilians, H.R. 4923 would amend Title 10 to change the maximum age of coverage for children from 23 to 26.

“Our military families stand behind our troops and lift them up, often making significant sacrifices like our service members themselves,” said Rep. Heinrich. “Allowing parents to provide health coverage to their dependent adult children is just one of the many small things we can do to show our military families how much we appreciate them and honor their service to our country.”

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  1. P. D. Scott says:

    Hats off to Mr. Heinrich. All too often military and retiree families get the short end of the deals. Enabling them the same benefits that will be required in the civilian sector by the new health care bill is the right thing to do.

  2. MSgt Ochoa (Ret0 says:

    TRICARE should of been in the orginal bill, How in the world did you pass a bill without taken care of the Military and retiree familys.

  3. DL says:

    While it is admirable and appreciated that bills are being introduced to ensure that military dependents are also covered up until age 26, by requiring that the child reside with the military member, it will effectively makes it useless for most college students, who are the children most affected by “aging out”. Having to pay a premium is reasonable, but please amend this to make it comparable to the private sector.

  4. R. D. Simons says:

    Thank you so much Congressman for addressing this oversight. I’ve been trying to get in touch with my congressmen to ask about this but so far not much luck. I will request their support on this very important bill. My son, who is graduating college in a few weeks with no job prospects yet, will be needing this coverage as my husband (USAF Ret) is retiring from his civilian job (20 years) and providing health coverage for my son will be a great strain on our finances.

  5. G Fox says:

    Thank you Congressman for addressing this oversight. I read that those of us under Tricare for Life may not be as lucky as some think. If our Medicare benefits are cut and our Tricare out of pocket expenses (deductable you pay first before Tricare kicks in)skyrocket to a level of $6,000+ we retired military are screwed once again. Our health care entitlements should have nothing to do with the new national health care program. We have lost the health care entitlements we were promised when we enlisted and reenlisted. I recently read that these promises were made prior to 1956, well for all you retirees who do not know this they were promised in the 60’s as well. I know because they were in my enlistment brochure in 1961 when I enlisted in the Air Force and as a reenlistment NCO in the early 70’s this was still used as a reelistment tool. You retirees need to be writing to your Congressmen and Senators and ask them why we lost Tricare Prime for Tricare for Life. Now we are required to enroll in Medicare Part B so we can get our prescriptions free at a military pharmacy. That cost you basically $1200. per year for you and if married and your wife is on Social Security another $1200 for her. $2400 per year for your free meds. Give us back Tricare Prime our cost, $462. per year for retiree and wife. We need to get all of the service organizations who claim to fight for our benefits to have their lobbyist get us Tricare Prime back and not make it mandtory we join Medicare Part B in order to get our medications from a Military Pharmacy.