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Q. How does the Affordable Care Act affect TRICARE?

A. The Affordable Care Act doesn’t have a direct effect on TRICARE since a different set of statutes under the authority of the Department of Defense and the Secretary of Defense apply to TRICARE. Eligibility, covered benefits, cost shares and all other features of the TRICARE program stay the same.

Under the Affordable Care Act you must have basic health care coverage—called minimum essential coverage. If you don’t have minimum essential coverage, you may have to pay a fee for each month you aren’t covered. If you’re a TRICARE beneficiary, TRICARE may help you meet this requirement.

For information on:
• TRICARE and the Affordable Care Act, visit our ACA webpage or call your TRICARE contractor.
• The fee you may have to pay if you don’t have basic health care coverage, visit http://www.irs.gov/uac/Individual-Shared-Responsibility-Provision and http://www.irs.gov/Affordable-Care-Act/Individuals-and-Families.
• The Premium Tax credit, visit http://www.irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/Questions-and-Answers-on-the-Premium-Tax-Credit.
• The Health Insurance Marketplace, visit www.healthcare.gov or call 1-800-318-2596.
• The Affordable Care Act, visit www.hhs.gov/healthcare/facts/timeline/index.html.

Send your questions to askthedoc@us.af.mil