WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) today co-sponsored bipartisan legislation to increase health care choices for service members and their families while also saving taxpayers more than a billion dollars over ten years.
Under current law, National Guard or Reserve service members who are federal employees are not eligible for military health care or TRICARE Reserve Select and are instead required to enroll in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Plan. This legislation—introduced by Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and co-sponsored by Senator Steve Daines (D-Mont.)—would remove that restriction to provide a more affordable option and continuity of care for these service members and their families.
“The brave men and women of our National Guard and Reserve dedicate so much to our country and stand ready to put their lives on the line for their fellow Americans. We owe it to these service members and their families to ensure they have access to the same care and benefits as their fellow service members,” Senator Capito said. “I appreciate Senator Hatch’s leadership in championing this effort, and I am proud to join him and Senator Daines in working to secure critical health benefits for our National Guard members and reservists.”
The inability to choose between plans not only deprives our service members the right to use a benefit they have earned, but it takes away a key recruiting and retention tool for the armed services. This bill supports members of the National Guard and Reserve by giving them the choice of which health care they would like to enroll in. In allowing the choice between the two plans, these service members will be able to make choices that are better for their families, and the military will be given an extra tool in manning their units.
The legislation is fully supported by the Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the United States (EANGUS), the Reserve Officers Association (ROA), and the National Guard Association of the United States (NGAUS).
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