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MOAA Decries 21% TRICARE Inpatient Copay Hike
Date:9/30/2009

ALEXANDRIA, Va., Sept. 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) president, VADM Norb Ryan Jr., USN (Ret), pulled no punches in expressing MOAA's objection to the Defense Department's announcement that it would be raising hospital inpatient copays by $110 per day for retired servicemembers, family members and survivors as of October 1.

"We're shocked and extremely disappointed that there would be any copay increase for the sickest military beneficiaries, let alone an increase of $110 a day," said Ryan.

"This grossly large fee hike is doubly upsetting because President Obama and Secretary of Defense Gates both announced earlier this year that the Defense Department would not propose any increases in TRICARE fees for FY2010. MOAA believes they were not aware of this plan, and has written the Secretary urging him to retract it."

Ryan said he also intends to ask the House and Senate Armed Services Committee leaders to overturn the increase, noting that Congress has passed legislation in each of the past three years barring any TRICARE fee hikes, expressly including the retiree inpatient copay.

"They recognized, as we do, that the current inpatient copay of $535 a day for military retirees is already far larger than the inpatient copay under almost any civilian plan," he said.

The only reason Congress didn't put any fee restrictions in the law for FY2010, Ryan said, was that they took the President and Secretary Gates at their word.

"This new announcement is a major foul," he said, "and MOAA will use every tool we have to fight it."

MOAA is the nation's largest association of active duty, National Guard, Reserve, retired, and former military officers and their families and survivors, and the fourth-largest veterans' association, with 375,000 members. The association promotes a strong national defense
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SOURCE Military Officers Association of America
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