Defense Authorization Bill Passes With New Health Care Provision

Bill includes provision for dependent health care to age 26

After wrangling into the night on Tuesday, and after the stripping of numerous controversial provisions from the legislation, the 2011 defense authorization bill passed the Senate on Wednesday.

While the bill no longer contained some controversial provisions, it still had plenty to make both sides of the aisle argue, including provisions concerning Guantànamo prisoners and permanent military bases across the globe.

Of interest to those dependent on the military’s health care system, Tricare, was the provision allowing military parents to cover dependents up to age 26, to match that capability as passed in the health care reform law. The previous cutoff age was 23. When health care reform was passed, Tricare was specifically exempted from its provisions. However, covering a child up to age 26 is a popular provision and now military families can offer their children the same medical coverage as civilian families.

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