Locals respond to Pentagon's proposed military health insurance - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Locals respond to Pentagon's proposed military health insurance changes

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BOSSIER CITY, LA (KSLA) -

The Pentagon's 2015 budget includes big changes for the military's healthcare service called Tricare.  

The plan would roll the three Tricare options into one and require increases in beneficiary out-of pocket-costs for families of active duty, retirees, and reserve members. Active service members themselves wouldn't see any out-of-pocket fees.  A department of defense spokesman says the proposal would "simplify and modernize" the existing program and calls the fee hikes "modest increases". 

Frank Junge, a military veteran, doesn't see the changes that way, "They just keep taking benefits," he said. 

"This military has been around for a long time, protecting the people of the United States, they aren't being taken care of the way I would expect to be taken care of as a member of the armed forces," he said.

The Defense Department says they don't have a choice. If healthcare costs are not cut down, those costs can quickly eat into the training and equipment portions of the budget.  "Here we fought all those years, here is the thanks we get, they just keep taking, taking, taking," said Junge.

Under this proposal, the changes would go into effect January 1, 2016, but nothing is final until Congress approves it, and the President signs it.  

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