Armed Forces News

The Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 authorizes some 90,000 Medicare-eligible military retirees not covered by Medicare Part B to enroll during a special enrollment period. During the period, which runs through Dec. 31, 2004, the retirees will incur no late enrollment penalties. Once enrolled, they can obtain medical treatment and prescription services through Tricare for Life. Also under the act, military beneficiaries who enrolled in Part B in 2001, 2002, 2003, or 2004 and are paying late enrollment penalties can have them eliminated effective Jan. 1, 2004, by demonstrating that they are covered under Tricare for Life. However, as Armed Forces News reported three weeks ago, the Department of Health and Human Services is still working on implementation procedures. Tricare has stated that, when the procedures are completed, they will be announced via Medicare and posted on the Tricare Web site at