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Military Retiree Health Benefits: Enrollment Low in Federal Employee Health Plans under DOD Demonstration
Enrollment in the DOD-FEHBP demonstration was low, peaking at 5.5percent of eligible beneficiaries in 2001 (7,521 enrollees) and then falling to 3.2 percent in 2002, after the introduction of comprehensive health coverage for all Medicare-eligible military retirees. Enrollment was considerably greater in Puerto Rico, where it reached 30 percent in 2002. Most retirees who knew about the demonstration and did not enroll said they were satisfied with their current coverage, which had better benefits and lower costs than the coverage they could obtain from FEHBP. Some of these retirees cited, for example, not being able to continue getting prescriptions filled at military treatment facilities if they enrolled in the demonstration. For those who enrolled, the factors that encouraged them to do so included the view that FEHBP offered retirees better benefits, particularly prescription drugs, than were available from their current coverage, as well as the lack of any existing coverage
Approved For Public Release