Bipartisan Bill Offers Long-Sought Fix to TRICARE Young Adult Coverage Gap

Bipartisan Bill Offers Long-Sought Fix to TRICARE Young Adult Coverage Gap
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Reps. Pat Ryan (D-N.Y.) and Michael Waltz (R-Fla.) have introduced The Health Care Fairness for Military Families Act (H.R. 1045), a bill which would expand TRICARE eligibility to young adult dependents up to age 26 and fix a TRICARE parity gap with commercial plans that has existed for more than a decade.


Commercial plans are required by law to make coverage available until adult children reach the age of 26. For military families, TRICARE coverage ends at age 21, or age 23 if the child is a full-time college student.


[TAKE ACTION: Urge Your Elected Officials to Fix the TRICARE Young Adult Coverage Gap]


After they lose coverage under TRICARE, dependents can purchase TRICARE Young Adult (TYA), a premium-based plan. Monthly premiums for 2023 are $291 for TYA Select and $570 for TYA Prime, up 10% and 11% respectively since last year. At the end of FY 2022, there were approximately 39,500 young adults enrolled in TYA; most were the children of military retirees.


In a press release announcing the bill, Reps. Waltz and Ryan explained the importance of this legislative fix.


“Military families have sacrificed so much for this country – it’s absolutely unacceptable that they don’t have access to the same health care as every other American,” Ryan said. “I’m proud that my legislation will right this wrong, delivering much-needed relief to military families across the country.”


Waltz said servicemembers “should not have to worry about the health and welfare of their families while serving our country. I’m proud to support this legislation to support our military families, provide an additional retention-incentive for our servicemembers, and ensure the children of our troops have the same, equal access to health care as their civilian counterparts.”


Fixing the TRICARE young adult parity gap has been a long-standing priority for MOAA. It was one of our 2021 Advocacy in Action topics, and a bill requiring the fix had 187 House co-sponsors by the end of the 117th Congress.



“The Health Care Fairness for Military Families Act would ensure access to affordable health care for military kids as they transition to adulthood, consistent with federal requirements for commercial health plans,” MOAA President and CEO Lt. Gen. Brian T. Kelly, USAF (Ret), said. “Military kids face many challenges including frequent moves, school transitions, and family separations. As they transition to adulthood, military kids deserve the same health care protections as their peers covered by commercial plans. MOAA thanks Rep. Pat Ryan and Rep. Mike Waltz for their efforts and we look forward to working together to fix the TRICARE young adult parity issue.”  


Please help MOAA advocate to ensure military kids have access to affordable care as they transition to adulthood by sending a message to your elected officials.



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About the Author

Karen Ruedisueli
Karen Ruedisueli

Ruedisueli is MOAA’s Director of Government Relations for Health Affairs and also serves as co-chair of The Military Coalition’s (TMC) Health Care Committee. She spent six years with the National Military Family Association, advocating for families of the uniformed services with a focus on health care and military caregivers.