Medicare & Medicaid vs. TRICARE: a benefits and cost comparison
Henderson, David R.
Dixon, Michael J.
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The current fiscal environment for the Department of Defense (DOD) is constrained. TRICARE and the military health system are an area where DOD military leaders have expressed serious concern over the balance between rising costs and retention. Medicare and Medicaid face similar budgetary challenges as spending for both these federal programs continues to rise. The purpose of this research was to determine the similarities and differences in coverage provided between TRICARE, Medicare, and Medicaid, compare costs and provider payment rates, and analyze cost implications for the federal budget. This research project accomplished the following: 1) determined that TRICARE and Medicare exhibited almost identical provider payment rates across all three of the states compared in this study, 2) determined that Medicaid payment rates in California and Connecticut are higher than TRICARE while rates in Mississippi are lower, 3) determined that TRICARE exhibited lower per capita spending and lower spending growth rates than Medicare or Medicaid.
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