Advertisement

You will be redirected to the page you want to view in  seconds.

Bill would give some survivors lifetime care

Feb. 10, 2009 - 02:24PM   |   Last Updated: Feb. 10, 2009 - 02:24PM  |  
  • Filed Under

Spouses of service members killed in combat would receive free military health care for life under a bill introduced Monday by Rep. Brett Guthrie, R-Ky.

  • Please enable JavaScript for your browser in order to use armytimes.com.com.
Want to read more?
Current Subscribers
Access to Army Times Prime is free for current Army Times subscribers.
Log in
Haven't registered online?
Activate Account
New Subscribers
Start your subscription to Army Times Prime for as little as 59¢ a week!
Subscribe

Spouses of service members killed in combat would receive free military health care for life under a bill introduced Monday by Rep. Brett Guthrie, R-Ky.

The chief effect of the legislation would be to prevent surviving spouses from being charged the same as retirees for using Tricare health benefit beginning three years after a service member's death, which is the case under current law.

The bill, HR 917, is the first measure introduced by Guthrie, an Army veteran who said he wants to use his military experience to help veterans and families.

"It is our responsibility to care for the widows and children of those who have died in the line of duty," Guthrie said in a statement. "These families have made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation, and they deserve the best care we can provide."

Guthrie, a 1987 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy who served in the 101st Airborne Division, said the "current way health care benefits are provided to the families of service members killed in combat is burdensome and costly."

"My legislation will make sure those families, whose loved ones gave their lives for our freedom, have affordable coverage. This is something everyone can agree on, regardless of political party," Guthrie added.

Under current law, spouses of service members killed in combat continue to receive free active-duty health care benefits for three years. After that, they may continue to receive Tricare coverage but are charged the same enrollment fees and copayments that apply to military retirees.

Dependent children are eligible for free care until age 21, or age 23 if they are full-time college students, as long as they do not marry. Children with disabilities may remain eligible for free care beyond those age limits.

Under Guthrie's bill, there would be no cost for continued coverage for surviving spouses. The current rules for dependent children would remain the same.

The bill was referred to the House Armed Services Committee, where it will be considered along with other health care legislation later this year when lawmakers begin work on the 2010 defense budget.

More In News

Start your day with a roundup of top defense news.

VA Home Loan
Rates

Search By:

Product Options:
Zip Code:

News for your in-box

Sign up now for free Military Times E-Reports. Choose from Money and Education. Subscribers: log in for premium e-newsletters.

This Week's Army Times

This Week's Army Times

The push for pullups
Why soldiers want it added to PT test

Subscribe for Print or Digital delivery today!

Classifieds
MilitaryTimes Green Trusted Classifieds Looking to buy, sell and connect on Military Times?
Browse expanded listings across hundreds of military installations.
Faces of valorHonoring those who fought and died in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
hall of valorThe Hall of Valor is a searchable database of valor award citations collected by Doug Sterner, a Vietnam veteran and Military Times contributing editor, and by Military Times staff.
   Last Post: garhkal
        Apr 15, 2014 4:55 PM
   Last Post: Shaken1976
        Apr 15, 2014 5:13 PM
   Last Post: MACHINE666
        Apr 6, 2014 4:23 PM
Handbooks

All you need to know about your military benefits.

Benefits handbook

Guard & Reserve All you need to know about the Guard & Reserve.

guard and reserve handbook