WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) on Tuesday introduced the bipartisan TRICARE Retiree Protection Act to ensure that America’s military retirees will not lose their healthcare as a result of new policy changes that took effect on January 1st, 2021. Senator Steve Daines (R-MT) cosponsored the legislation.
“Our servicemembers bravely fought for our nation and as they retire after years of selfless service, it is our duty to ensure they’re taken care of,” Manchin said. “I introduced the TRICARE Retiree Protection Act to extend the grace period from 180 days to 12 months to enroll in a payment plan for retired servicemembers and their families.
“This extension helps ensure no retired servicemember is left without healthcare coverage, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a member of both the Senate Armed Services Committee and Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, I will continue to fight to ensure our servicemembers and Veterans have access to quality, affordable healthcare to retire in peace,” Manchin said.
Currently, TRICARE Select members have just 180 days to establish a payment plan for the enrollment fees established on Jan. 1, 2021. While the fees were unable to be delayed further, the TRICARE Retiree Protection Act seeks to guarantee that retired servicemembers have the full year to secure enrollment in the healthcare coverage they earned for themselves and their families. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact our entire nation, it is critical military retirees have every available opportunity for continued high-quality medical care.
Military retirees are veterans who have served more than 20 years and who receive their pensions and health benefits through the Department of Defense.