Accession Number : ADA323494

Title :   Defense Health Care: Limits to Older Retirees' Access to Care and Proposals for Change

Corporate Author : GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE WASHINGTON DC HEALTH EDUCATION AND HUMAN SERVICES D IV

PDF Url : ADA323494

Report Date : FEB 1997

Pagination or Media Count : 11

Abstract : In summary, our work has shown that recent system downsizing has reduced all care, including space-available care-the only care retirees may access at military facilities. In the last 10 years, the number of military medical personnel has declined by 15% and one-third of military hospitals have been closed, reflecting the one-third reduction in active-duty forces. While further readiness-related downsizing decisions are pending, some predict more system reductions. Meanwhile, TRICARE, which does not allow older retirees to enroll in its Prime health care option (its new health maintenance organization (HMO) option), is moving to maximize Prime enrollment at all the facilities. As this takes place, older retirees' space-available care will further decline at most facilities and eventually end at some. Space available care at military health facilities, moreover, is episodic and lacks the continuity so important to older retirees who have more frequent, and often chronic, medical problems than younger retirees. And, although retirees may also access care through such government-sponsored programs as Medicare and private supplementary health insurance, many retirees experience coverage gaps and high out-of-pocket costs.

Descriptors :   *RETIREMENT(PERSONNEL), *VETERANS(MILITARY PERSONNEL), *CHAMPUS, MILITARY PERSONNEL, MANAGEMENT PLANNING AND CONTROL, COST ANALYSIS, HOSPITALS, HOSPITALIZATIONS, INSURANCE, PUBLIC HEALTH, MEDICAL EXAMINATION, MILITARY DOWNSIZING.

Subject Categories : Administration and Management
      Medical Facilities, Equipment and Supplies

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE