DOD Health Care: Prohibition on Financial Incentives That May Influence Health Insurance Choices for Retirees and Their Dependents under Age 65

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Correspondence issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "From fiscal years 2001 through 2010, the Department of Defense's (DOD) spending for health care increased from about $19 billion to nearly $49 billion, representing approximately 6 percent of DOD's total spending in fiscal year 2001 and approximately 9 percent in fiscal year 2010. This health care spending primarily funds TRICARE--DOD's program that provides health care to active duty personnel and other beneficiaries, including retired servicemembers. According to DOD, the increase in its health care spending can be attributed to factors such as growth in the number of ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. February 16, 2011.

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Correspondence issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "From fiscal years 2001 through 2010, the Department of Defense's (DOD) spending for health care increased from about $19 billion to nearly $49 billion, representing approximately 6 percent of DOD's total spending in fiscal year 2001 and approximately 9 percent in fiscal year 2010. This health care spending primarily funds TRICARE--DOD's program that provides health care to active duty personnel and other beneficiaries, including retired servicemembers. According to DOD, the increase in its health care spending can be attributed to factors such as growth in the number of TRICARE beneficiaries. From fiscal years 2001 through 2010, the number of TRICARE beneficiaries increased by nearly 15 percent, from 8.3 million to 9.5 million beneficiaries. To help reduce DOD's health care costs, Congress passed section 707 of the John Warner National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2007 (section 707), which went into effect January 1, 2008. Section 707 prohibits employers with 20 or more employees from offering financial or other incentives to their employees who are eligible for TRICARE to not enroll in the employer-sponsored health insurance plan or to terminate such coverage. Historically, some employers offered financial or other incentives, which resulted in shifting much of the cost of providing health care for these employees from the employer to DOD. TRICARE beneficiaries who might have been offered incentives are retirees and their dependents under age 65 who have access to employer-sponsored health insurance in addition to TRICARE. When these employees accepted the incentives and did not enroll in the employer-sponsored health insurance, TRICARE became the primary payer and paid a greater share of the health care costs. As a result of section 707's prohibition on such incentives, DOD projected, in April 2010, that there would be approximately $436 million in total TRICARE savings for fiscal years 2010 through 2015. Congress requested that we examine how DOD developed its savings estimate and evaluated the effect of the law. In this report, we describe (1) DOD's method for projecting TRICARE savings as a result of section 707 for fiscal years 2010 through 2015 and (2) DOD's efforts to determine the effects of section 707 on TRICARE participation and costs after the law went into effect."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • February 16, 2011

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  • June 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. DOD Health Care: Prohibition on Financial Incentives That May Influence Health Insurance Choices for Retirees and Their Dependents under Age 65, text, February 16, 2011; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc301421/: accessed November 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.