Bipartisan Proposal Would Lower Prescription Drug Costs for Military Families During National Emergencies

U.S. Senators Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., today introduced the TRICARE Prescription Relief Act, legislation that would authorize the Secretary of Defense to waive prescription cost-sharing requirements for military service members, veterans, and their families during a declared national or public health emergency. The proposal would help to reduce the financial burden for TRICARE beneficiaries who are unable to access military treatment facility (MTF) pharmacies.

“In the wake of a widespread disaster like a hurricane or global pandemic, our military service members, veterans, and their families should not have to worry about how they will continue to afford lifesaving treatments,” Wicker said. “The TRICARE Prescription Relief Act would give our defense leaders the flexibility they need to waive cost-sharing requirements for TRICARE beneficiaries through the duration of a crisis.”

“Ensuring Arizona TRICARE recipients can receive their prescriptions outside of military clinics at no added cost helps keep Arizona military families and retirees safe during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic,” said Sinema.

The legislation would authorize the Secretary of Defense to waive cost-sharing requirements after considering whether the waiver would increase affordability of alternatives to MTF pharmacies, promote prescription adherence by beneficiaries, or facilitate the government response to a covered emergency.

The Secretary could invoke a waiver during any national emergency, including public health emergencies declared by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, or those invoked by the President under the National Emergencies Act and the Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act.

Click here to read the full text of the legislation.

Press Release