On Wednesday the Congressional Budget Office determined that a proposal by the House Armed Services Committee regarding older TRICARE beneficiaries may not have annual savings as large as originally thought. However, it will help offset the costs of reduced co-pay fee increases, Military Times reports.
The policy change would require TRICARE for Life recipients to fill their long-term prescriptions by mail rather than by visiting a local retail chain. The CBO believes that around 15 percent of prescriptions would never enter the system because the program lets people with new prescriptions get an initial 30-day supply. As a result, it could save as much as $150 million a year, for a total savings of $1.1 billion between 2013 and 2022.
The findings are important given that Congress had to find a way to make up for the $1 billion lost in new revenues caused by a policy stating co-pay increases have to be consistent with cost of living adjustments.
In addition to passing the mail order plan, the House Armed Services Committee voted down a number of proposed fee hikes. In particular, members did not consider adding an annual enrollment fee for TRICARE for Life recipients or higher enrollment fees for TRICARE Prime, Stars and Stripes reports.