Tricare Young Adult Premiums Jump

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Adult military children using Tricare Young Adult health care coverage will see their premiums jump next year.  Tricare Young Adult costs are not tied to Tricare costs, and premiums can change.

Costs

Premiums will be reset on 1 January 2016, and the announced new premiums are markedly higher than the 2015 premiums.  Tricare Young Adult premiums are based upon the premise that the program is required to be “cost-neutral” to the government.  This means that the cost of the Tricare Young Adult premiums must, over a period of time, be equal to the benefits paid out.  A review of program data for the last few years showed that the current premiums are not covering costs.

Beginning 1 January 2016, the premiums will be:

Tricare Young Adult Prime:  $306 per month, up from $208 per month

Tricare Young Adult Standard:  $228 per month, up from $181 per month

Coverage

Tricare Young Adult coverage is available to dependents of Tricare-eligible sponsors who are over the age to remain on regular Tricare (21, or 23 if a full-time college student), under age 26, and who are not eligible for employee-sponsored health care coverage.

Tricare Young Adult, while not inexpensive, is very good health insurance coverage with comprehensive coverage.  Tricare Young Adult Prime carries the same coverage as Tricare Prime, and Tricare Young Adult Standard offers the same coverage as Tricare Standard.  There is no dental coverage available to young adult Tricare beneficiaries.

Why Does Tricare Offer The Young Adult Plan?

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires that private health insurance companies allow “dependent” children to remain on their parents’ health insurance until age 26.  Tricare rules are different because Tricare is not a private health insurance company.  Under Tricare rules, children lose coverage when they turn 21, or 23 if they are a full-time student.  Tricare Young Adult is a compromise that allows young adults who have lost their regular Tricare eligibility to continue to have Tricare health coverage.

Gosh, That’s Awfully Expensive

Unfortunately, health insurance is expensive.  If this increase in fees pushes Tricare Young Adult out of your young adult’s budget, other options include:

  • college or university-sponsored coverage,
  • coverage via the state health care exchanges, or
  • state-run Medicaid coverage.

Those currently using Tricare Young Adult Prime may prefer to switch to Tricare Young Adult Standard.

More information about the Tricare Young Adult program can be found at the Tricare Young Adult Fact Sheet.

You may also find more information in Why Tricare Young Adult Is More Expensive Than Tricare.

About the Author

Kate Horrell
Kate Horrell is a military financial coach, mom of four teens, and Navy spouse. She has a background in taxes and mortgage banking, and a trove of experience helping other military families with their money. Follow her on twitter @realKateHorrell.