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Friday, April 23, 2010

TRICARE and VA Health Care: Impact of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act(P.L. 111-148)

Sidath Viranga Panangala
Specialist in Veterans Policy

Don J. Jansen
Analyst in Defense Health Care Policy

The 111th Congress recently passed, and the President signed into law, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (P.L. 111-148; PPACA), as amended by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (P.L. 111-152; HCERA). In general, PPACA did not make any significant changes to the Department of Defense (DOD) TRICARE program or to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system. However, many have sought clarification as to whether certain provisions in PPACA, such as a mandate for most individuals to have health insurance, or extending dependant coverage up to age 26, would apply to TRICARE and VA health care beneficiaries. 

To address some of these concerns, Congress has introduced and/or enacted legislation. The TRICARE Affirmation Act (H.R. 4887), passed by both the House and the Senate and received by the President, would affirm that TRICARE satisfies the minimum acceptable coverage requirement in PPACA. Similarly S. 3162 (passed by the Senate on March 26, 2010) and H.R. 5014 (introduced in the House on April 14, 2010) would, if enacted, clarify that the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA), Spina Bifida Health Care Program, and the Children of Women Vietnam Veterans Health Care Program meet the "minimum essential coverage" requirement under PPACA. In addition, the TRICARE Dependent Coverage Extension Act (H.R. 4923; S. 3201), if enacted, would extend certain PPACA provisions to TRICARE beneficiaries.

Date of Report: April 22, 2010
Number of Pages: 11
Order Number: R41198
Price: $29.95

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