January 2006

ARMED FORCES NEWS
JCS ENDORSE DRACONIAN TRICARE FEES
January 6, 2006

The Joint Chiefs are joining the Defense Department in seeking to more than triple annual enrollment fees for officers in Tricare Prime and double the fees for enlisted retirees by 2008. DoD wants Congress to jack up fees for those under-65 officer retirees from $240 a year for individual coverage to $750, and from $450 annually for family coverage to $1,500. The department wants to raise fees for enlisted retirees under age 65 to $450 for individuals and $900 for families. The deductible for Tricare Standard also would be raised, and an annual enrollment fee would be imposed. Medicare-eligible retirees also would take a hit, with copayments for retail generic drugs jumping from $3 to $5 and for brand name drugs from $9 to $15 retail and $10 by mail order. DoD claims it needs the money from the retirees to balance the defense budget.

ARMED FORCES NEWS

MORE DRUGS TARGETED FOR TRICARE'S THIRD TIER
January 13, 2006

The Defense Department's Uniform Formulary Beneficiary Advisory Panel (BAP) met in December to consider recommendations from DoD's Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee. The panel recommended the following drugs for Tricare's Third Tier: the Alzheimer class drug Tacrine(Cognex); Nasal Corticosteroids Drugs, flunisolide (Nasarel), fluticasone propionate (Flonase) and mometasone furoate (Nasonex); Antidepressants (AD1) Drugs, fluoxetine (Sarafem), fluoxetine weekly (Prozac Weekly), escitalopram and paroxetineCR, duloxetine, and bupropion XL; Oral Macrolide/Ketolide class drugs, telithromycin and the Zmax formulation of azithromycin. The panel also recommended that a prior authorization be required for Mescasermin (increlex). All committee recommendations will go to the Director of TricareManagement Activity for final approval or modification. Third tier drugs cost $22 for a 30-day supply at retail network pharmacies or a 90-day supply via the Tricare Mail Order Pharmacies. BAP members represent beneficiary groups such as The Military Coalition. 

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