TRICARE Fixes, Restored Benefits, and More: Read MOAA’s NDAA Priority List

TRICARE Fixes, Restored Benefits, and More: Read MOAA’s NDAA Priority List
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Ongoing MOAA advocacy efforts to preserve the value of earned benefits for the entire uniformed services committee – past and present servicemembers, their families, and their survivors – led a list of priorities for the annual defense authorization bill outlined for congressional leaders in an Aug. 24 MOAA letter.


“This upcoming fiscal year will be challenging for our nation and the all-volunteer force,” wrote Lt. Gen. Brian T. Kelly, USAF (Ret), MOAA President and CEO, “and we believe the way through these challenges is to prioritize and care for our nation’s servicemembers.”



The full letter can be accessed at this link; it was sent to the chairmen and ranking members of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees and will be sent to all members of the conference committee set to meet and produce the final version of the FY 2024 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).


Two issues atop the priority list have been part of MOAA’s Advocacy in Action campaign throughout the spring and into the summer recess:

  • Preserving the TRICARE Pharmacy Benefit: MOAA supports House NDAA language directing a detailed report into reductions in the TRICARE pharmacy network. Such a report is a critical step to protecting beneficiaries’ access to medication, especially those in rural areas or with complex medical needs.

  • Restoring the Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH): MOAA also supports House language increasing BAH to 96% of estimated local rental and utilities costs, up from 95%. This is another critical step, moving toward 100% BAH and a much-needed boost to the finances of those in uniform, especially young families.


[TAKE ACTION: Protect the TRICARE Pharmacy Benefit | Restore BAH]


More Priorities

The letter outlined seven other key issues addressed in the NDAA drafts:

  1. Pay Table Reform: MOAA-backed House language would boost enlisted pay as a way to combat recruiting challenges. MOAA also supports broader pay reform, Kelly wrote in the letter, with a more comprehensive approach helping to “eliminate the need for special needs allowances or supplemental food assistance programs. Basic needs … should be met within the standard compensation package and not through supplemental means.”

  2. TRICARE Fixes for All: MOAA highlighted several NDAA sections offering improved TRICARE coverage – better access to fertility treatments, for example – that do not provide the extended services to all TRICARE beneficiaries. While MOAA supports TRICARE keeping up with health care benchmarks, it cannot do so while neglecting Coast Guard, U.S. Public Health Service, and NOAA uniformed personnel, for instance, or members of the retiree population.

  3. Better BNA Calculation: MOAA supports House language removing BAH from the Basic Needs Allowance (BNA) process, a move that will “drastically increase the eligible population and improve the overall quality of life for our servicemembers and their families,” Kelly wrote. The allowance supports low-income (below 150% of the poverty line for their region) servicemembers and their families, many of whom may struggle with food insecurity.

  4. Updated Separation Allowance: The House NDAA would boost Family Separation Allowance (FSA) to $400 a month, up from $250 a month. MOAA supports the move, as the allowance hasn’t been increased since 2003.

  5. Child Care Support: MOAA-supported House NDAA language would improve and codify discounted child care for dependents of DoD child care employees. This increased benefit would help the Pentagon combat a nationwide provider shortage.

  6. Arlington National Cemetery Eligibility: The House NDAA would require a report “that contains a proposal to increase national cemetery capacity through the expansion or modification of a national cemetery that has, or will have, the capacity to provide full military honors.” This is a step toward MOAA’s goal of preserving earned burial benefits for all who served, though it does not go as far toward this goal as the Expanding America’s National Cemetery Act. (Learn More | Write Your Lawmakers)

  7. Ending the ‘180-Day Rule’: House NDAA language similar to the Retain Skilled Veterans Act (Learn More | Write Your Lawmakers) would forward MOAA’s goal of increasing the talent pool of retired servicemembers seeking DoD civilian positions – a move strengthening national defense as well as improving the chances of a successful military-to-civilian transition for those leaving uniform but retaining a desire to serve.


Keep up with these NDAA provisions and others via the weekly edition of The MOAA Newsletter and through our Advocacy News page.


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About the Author

Kevin Lilley
Kevin Lilley

Lilley serves as MOAA's digital content manager. His duties include producing, editing, and managing content for a variety of platforms, with a concentration on The MOAA Newsletter and Follow him on X: @KRLilley