Expanded TRICARE bill introduced

U.S. Representative Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., has introduced H.R. 4923, (the TRICARE Dependent Coverage Extension Act. The bill increases the maximum age to 26 at which U.S. servicemembers and military retirees are allowed to provide health coverage to their dependent children.

Heinrich introduced this legislation following the enactment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the sweeping health care overhaul. Under the new system, individuals with private health insurance will now be able to provide coverage to their dependent children up to age 26.

TRICARE, the health insurance for military servicemembers, retirees and the families of both, is under the control of the Department of Defense and governed by a different section of the U.S. Code, so it will not be affected in any way by the new health reform legislation. To provide U.S. servicemembers and military retirees with the same new benefits given to civilians, H.R. 4923 would amend Title 10 to change the maximum age of coverage for children from 23 to 26.