Congressman Chris Stewart

Representing the 2nd District of Utah
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Stewart and Gabbard Introduce The Veterans TRICARE Choice Act

May 20, 2014
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Today, Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah) and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), both veterans, introduced the Veterans TRICARE Choice Act of 2014, H.R. 4682. This bipartisan bill gives TRICARE-eligible veterans the ability to contribute to a Health Savings Account (HSA) program.

Under current Veterans Administration policy, it is illegal for a TRICARE-eligible veteran to participate in an HSA program. The Veterans TRICARE Choice Act of 2014, gives veterans the choice to voluntarily pause their TRICARE benefits in order to participate in an HSA program.

Health Savings Accounts have proven to be an effective way to pay for medical costs and proactively save for future medical expenses. Employees invest and save tax-free money in HSAs, which are then used to pay for qualified medical expenses. These have become increasingly popular healthcare plans in the private sector.

“As a former Air Force Officer, I know first hand about the sacrifices made by veterans and their families,” Congressman Chris Stewart said. “When they leave the military and enter the private workforce, they shouldn’t be denied opportunities given to non-veteran employees. This bill simply allows veterans to pause TRICARE benefits to participate in the same employer sponsored HSA programs that non-veteran employees are given. It’s important that we honor our veterans by ensuring that they have access to the best healthcare options for themselves and their families.”

“Veterans in the private sector deserve the same access to quality healthcare options that their civilian co-workers enjoy,” said Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard. “As a National Guard soldier who used TRICARE in the past, I've experienced firsthand the limitations that exist.  TRICARE-eligible veterans who have served their country honorably are denied access to other health plans unless they permanently opt out of TRICARE. This outdated policy does not serve our veterans or their families, who have sacrificed greatly. I’m proud to join my friend and fellow veteran, Congressman Stewart, to introduce the Veterans TRICARE Choice Act to provide more freedom and flexibility for our veterans to make healthcare choices that are right for themselves and their families.”

For a PDF copy of the bill, click here.