DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA – Veterans will have more heathcare options under a bipartisan bill passed unanimously today in the U.S. House of Representatives, said Rep. Chris Stewart, who co-sponsored the legislation.
The bill, known as The Veterans TRICARE Choice Act, gives veterans the choice to voluntarily pause their TRICARE benefits in order to participate in an employer’s Health Savings Account or HSA program, Stewart noted.
“Our veterans deserve our most profound gratitude,” Stewart said. “Nothing about their military service should prevent them from accessing the same benefits as their non-veteran co-workers. The very least we can do is ensure they receive the benefits we’ve promised them, and that the process goes as smoothly as possible. We still have a lot of work to do on that front, but the passage of this bill is a great step in the right direction.”
The bill, H.R. 5458, is a bipartisan, common sense piece of legislation that allows veterans to temporarily pause their TRICARE benefits to participate in an employers HSA program if they so choose.
Health Savings Accounts have proven to be an effective way to pay for medical costs and proactively save for future medical expenses. They have become increasingly popular healthcare plans in the private sector, but under current federal law, it is illegal for a TRICARE-eligible veteran to participate in an HSA program.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, the original Democrat co-sponsor of the bill said she was certain the bill’s passage would make a difference.
“As a soldier and a veteran, I have seen firsthand the tremendous sacrifice our veterans and their families make in service to our country,” Gabbard said following passage of the bill. “That service should never limit their access to quality healthcare, and the ability to make decisions about their own health. The Veterans TRICARE Choice Act gives our veterans the ability to choose the best healthcare options for themselves and their families.”
The Veterans Tricare Choice Act has the support of the Association of the United States Navy and the National Guard Association of the United States.
Before the bill’s passage, Stewart spoke on the House Floor, urging his colleagues to vote in favor of the bill.
You can watch the video of Stewart’s remarks at the top of this report.