TRICARE fee increases still in flux
April 3, 2012
Proposal to exempt medically retired vets from
TRICARE fee increases still in flux
Dear Sgt. Shaft:
Do the TRICARE fee increases affect medically
retired personnel? I have seen articles saying yes, and some saying no.
It is as confusing as the phone call I got about making the premium
Thank you for helping out.
Via the Internet
There is a proposal that medically retired personnel
would be exempt from TRICARE fee increases, but just like the proposed
fee increases themselves, it's all just at the talking stage right now.
It's hard to predict what might come out of the discussions before the
National Defense Authorization Act comes out
this fall or early winter. We have a big national election taking place
that might influence some of those outcomes. You'll need to be patient
to learn what the sausage-making process coughs out.
• Congratulations to Dolores A. Dunn, staff
director of the Subcommittee on Health, House Committee on Veterans
Affairs, who was recently honored by the Military Order of the Purple
Heart (MOPH). For her exemplary leadership and service to veterans and
their families, Ms. Dunn earned the MOPH's 2012 Exemplary Service
Each year, MOPH pays special tribute to a
professional staff member of the U.S. Congress who best demonstrates
exemplary service to our nation's veterans. This year's award was
presented by National Commander, Legislative Director Hershel Gober.
A dedicated and selfless U.S. government employee
for more than 31 years, Ms. Dunn joined the staff of the House Committee
on Veterans Affairs in 2003. Her professionalism and remarkable service
to the committee and its members were rewarded in 2007, when Ms. Dunn
was promoted to staff director of the Subcommittee on Health, with
legislative, oversight and investigative jurisdiction over the entire
Veterans Health Administration, including medical services, medical
support and compliance, medical facilities, medical and prosthetic
research, and major and minor construction.
During her tenure as staff director, the
Subcommittee on Health has achieved many commendable legislative
accomplishments, including oversight of the creation of the VA
Polytrauma System of Care. Under Ms. Dunn's leadership and personal
participation, the subcommittee created the Caregiver Assistance
Program, the Veterans' Mental Health Improvement Act of 2008, and the
Veterans' Benefits, Health Care and Information Technology Act, as well
other legislation that continues to improve the lives of veterans and
Ms. Dunn has long been a tireless and strong
advocate for all veterans and has served the members of the House
Committee on Veterans Affairs with honor and integrity. Ms. Dunn's
dedicated service to veterans and to her committee's members reflects
all that is good and honorable about government service and reflects
favorably upon the Veterans' Affairs' Committee, the U.S. House of
Representatives and the United States of America. For her exemplary
leadership and service to veterans and their families, the MOPH is
pleased to honor Dolores A. Dunn with the 2012 Exemplary Service
"I would like to thank the Military Order of the
Purple Heart for bestowing this honor on a very deserving advocate for
America's veterans and their families," said Rep. Jeff Miller, chairman
of the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs. "Dolores Dunn has been with
the committee for nearly a decade and her dedication, passion, and
service are unmatched. Dolores is an integral of part of our team, and I
could not think of a more worthy recipient of this year's Exemplary
• The Fleet Reserve Association (FRA)
Education Foundation is proud to offer a special scholarship for children of enlisted Navy
medical personnel. The Colonel Hazel Elizabeth Benn Scholarship Fund
provides a $2,000 scholarship to an unmarried, dependent child of those
who have served or are now serving in the U.S. Navy as enlisted medical
personnel with the U.S. Marine Corps. The Benn Scholarship is available
to qualified applicants entering their freshman or sophomore year of
college. The deadline to apply for this and other scholarships
administered by the foundation is April 15, 2012.
The Benn Scholarship is one of several administered
by the FRA Education Foundation and was established by Benn's estate to
honor the memory of one of the first active-duty female Marines selected
for the permanent rank of colonel. She led the Educational Services
Branch of the Marine Corps and worked tirelessly to increase the
potential for Marine Corps personnel to pursue college degrees.
"Colonel Benn was very specific in her wishes for
the establishment of this scholarship, and the FRA Education Foundation
is proud to honor those wishes," said Joe Barnes, national executive
director of the Fleet Reserve Association and a member of the FRA
Education Foundation's Board of Directors. "Thanks to the generosity of
Colonel Benn and others, the foundation's scholarship program continues
to recognize excellence in the classroom as well as students' active
involvement in their school and community."
The Benn scholarship is open to children of all Navy
enlisted medical personnel who've served or are serving with the Marine
Corps, regardless of their affiliation with the FRA. Other foundation
scholarships are available to anyone affiliated with the Navy, Marine
Corps or Coast Guard, either through their own service or that of a
spouse, parent or grandparent. FRA Education Foundation scholarships are
funded through private donations, established trusts and corporate
sponsorships. Recipients are selected based on financial need, academic
standing, character and leadership qualities.
Applications for the Benn and other foundation
scholarships are available at www.fra.org/foundation. Contributions in
support of foundation scholarships are always welcome.
• The VA Western New York Healthcare System
recently held its "Hire a Hero" job
fair at the VA hospital in Buffalo. About 32 employers were present, representing the
public and private sectors, colleges, not-for-profit groups and federal
Send letters to Sgt. Shaft, c/o John Fales, P.O.
Box 65900, Washington, D.C. 20035-5900; fax 301/622-3330, call
202/257-5446 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.