The Deployment Diary

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

A Must Read For Service Members...

and their families. I found this link by chance while looking for info on the transitional health care coverage for those leaving the service - not retiring.

National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal 2004. It's an article written for the Air Force Association. It details the increases in "pay and benefits for active duty members, retirees, and reservists."

I am especially interested in the “Keep the Promise” Bill mentioned near the end of the article. As my husband nears retirement, it really irritates me that the free health care for life he was promised when joining is not free. You retire, you pay premiums if you want to use Tricare Prime.

Another interesting tidbit for anyone who may know someone who is not separating from the military voluntarily:

Eligible Involuntary Separation: You and your family are authorized to use military treatment facilities for a period of 60 days (if you served fewer than six years) or 120 days (if you served six years or more). During this period of transitional health care, you will have the same priority as family members of active duty personnel. After this 60-/120-day period, you and your family are no longer eligible to use military treatment facilities or the TRICARE health care plan. However, you may purchase extended transitional health care insurance, known as the Continued Health Care Benefit Program (CHCBP), for up to 18 months of coverage. You have 60 days after your initial transitional health care ends to purchase CHCBP. See your Health Benefits Advisor for specific information.

I had no idea the government had this in place for those who are being separated involuntarily. You can read more on the Health and Life Insurance section on the Army's ACAP website It also covers voluntarily separating and the Continued Health Care Benefit Program (CHCBP). Unfortunately, with the type of premiums the CHCBP has, most voluntarily separating will not be able to afford it.

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