Defense Bill Would Draw Line on Medical Costs

The version of the 2017 defense-spending bill that the House and Senate agreed to would hold out-of-pocket expenses for health-care coverage under TRICARE where they are. S. 2943 also would:

* Offer managed-care and no-referral options for TRICARE coverage.
* Extend operating hours at military treatment facilities.
* Expand private-public partnerships in health care, to broaden the reach of services to beneficiaries.
* Allow retirees to buy durable medical equipment at the same price the Defense Department pays.
* Standardize appointment scheduling and first-call resolution at military clinics.
* Increase the number of available appointments at military treatment facilities.