Q. I am a military retiree (or military retiree spouse) who recently started a new job. My new employer offers a comprehensive employer sponsored health care plan. As a military retiree, they are familiar with TRICARE, and have offered me an additional $3000 per year to opt out of their plan and use my TRICARE benefit, as well as pay for a TRICARE supplement to cover me and my family’s cost share. This benefit is only offered to TRICARE eligible. Is this a lawful incentive?
A. No. Section 1097c of Title 10, USC , (section 707 of the John Warner National Defense Authorization Act, 2007, prohibits employers from offering TRICARE eligible employees, (as defined in 10 U.S.C Section 1086) financial or other incentives to use TRICARE over a company’s Group Health Plan (GHP). This legislation applies to any employer, including states and local governments, with 20 or more employees and mirrors the same prohibition that currently applies to Medicare. This does not affect your eligibility for TRICARE, it only prohibits your employer from offering you an incentive to take TRICARE over the group health plan.
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