Tricare Forecast for 2022: Pharmacy Copays, Enrollment Fees Increase for Retirees

Updated: October 29, 2021
In this Article

    Military retirees’ cost of living adjustments are expected to increase in 2022, but healthcare costs will go up in tandem. Tricare enrollment fees, along with retail and mail-order pharmacy copayments, will increase.​​

    Tricare Enrollment Fees Go Up for Retired Military Members

    Military retirees under age 65 – who don’t qualify for Medicare or Tricare for Life – will pay more for enrollment in 2022, according to the Federal Register. 

    The annual Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA), which will be released in October, is on track to be the largest since at least 2009. 

    The cost of living increased by 5.3% as of August 2021, according to the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Works. 

    The Federal Register anticipates retirees’ pay will see its largest bump in 40 years, enrollment fee increases will mirror that. 

    Here’s what those payments look like now. Check back on Oct. 1 for updates. 

    Tricare Prime

    • Group A retirees – military personnel who retire before Jan. 1, 2018 – currently pay $303 per year for an individual and $606 for a family.
    • Group B retirees who entered service on or after Jan. 1, 2018, and have since left military service, currently pay annual enrollment fees of $366 per individual and $732 per family for Tricare Prime. This particular group is made up primarily of medical retirees and their families. 

    Tricare Select

    • For Group B retirees, fees for Tricare Select are $471 for an individual and $942 for a family. Both will see costs increase in 2022. 
    • In 2021, Group A retirees who use Tricare Select began paying $150 for an individual and $300 for a family. 

    Tricare for Life 

    • Tricare for Life beneficiaries will also likely see an increase in their healthcare costs since they’re required to have Medicare Part B, for which monthly premiums are income – based. These premiums are also expected to rise, thanks to the cost of living increase. 

    Surviving family members of those killed in the line of duty or active duty members who retired due to medical reasons before Jan. 1, 2018, who are enrolled in Tricare, won’t pay more as long as they remain in the program. 

    Pharmacy Copayments Increase For Some Military Families

    Specialty populations such as reservists, young adults, and transitioning service members will pay more for their prescriptions in 2022. 

    • Generic drug prescriptions at retail pharmacies for all Tricare recipients will cost $14 for a 30-day supply, up from $11. 
    • Brand-name medications will cost $38, an increase of five dollars from 2021. Non-formulary drugs listed in Tricare’s list of covered medications will increase to $68 from $60. 
    • Mail-ordered generic 90-day prescriptions will go up to $12 from $10.
    • Mail-ordered brand name medications will cost $34, increasing from $29. 
    • Mail-ordered non-formulary drugs will cost $68. 

    How to Enroll or Change Your Tricare Plan

    Tricare’s Open Season begins Nov. 8 and ends Dec. 13, and eligible beneficiaries can enroll in either Tricare Prime or Select. If they don’t enroll during this period, as with the Affordable Care Act, beneficiaries must wait until a ‘qualifying life event’ such as job loss to enroll in Tricare.

    Written by Julia Gray

    Julia Gray is an editor, producer and writer with news reporting experience ranging from wellness trends to public policy to politics (the good, the bad and ugly). She worked in Hollywood on films and in television before returning to Chicago to teach film editing at Columbia College Chicago and DePaul University. She earned her master’s in journalism and worked as on-air talent for both WGN News Radio and Rivet News – a customizable news app.