• Pentagon to Expand Benefits for Military Families

    Pentagon to Expand Benefits for Military Families0

    Service members will be allowed to request deferring a transfer to a new duty location for a family-related reason such as remaining close to a medical facility treating a dependent or allowing a child to finish at the same high school, under a series of initiatives Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced last week to improve quality of life for military families. Such requests would be subject to the military’s force needs and would require the individual to extend a service commitment, reported DOD News. Other initiatives will extend maternity leave and expand access to child care and expensive reproductive technologies …

  • Defense Bill Offers Compromises on Military Benefits0

    The conference report for the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill offers a mixed bag for military families, trimming the basic allowance for housing (BAH) over the next four years while attempting to preserve discounts at commissaries. The compromise legislation adopts DOD’s proposal to slow the rate of increase in the BAH until rates cover only 95 percent of service members’ out-of-pocket costs, but eases the reduction into place by 1 percent increments over the next four years. Last year, leaders of the House and Senate Armed Services committees reached a compromise allowing the housing benefit to cover only 99 percent of rental and utility costs …

  • Policy Bill Talks Stuck on Military Benefits0

    A proposed increase in co-pays for prescriptions has emerged as one of the thorniest issues in negotiations between the House and Senate Armed Services committees over the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill. As of last week, the ranking members of the two committees had sided with Senate Armed Services Chair John McCain (R-Ariz.) against House Armed Services Chair Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) over the health care fees. McCain, along with Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) and Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.), favor DOD’s plan to increase co-pays for drugs purchased through Tricare by mail or at retail pharmacies while continuing to allow prescriptions to be filled at military clinics for free …