Prescription co-payments will increase for some Tricare beneficiaries starting Feb. 1.

Patients who fill their prescriptions at Tricare network pharmacies will see their co-pays rise to $10, up from $8, for a 30-day generic prescription, and to $24, up from $20, for a 30-day brand-name prescription.

For those who use mail order, a 90-day generic prescription will remain available for no co-pay. A 90-day prescription for a brand-name medication by mail will cost $20, up from $16, and medications not on Tricare’s formulary will increase to $49, up from $46.

Prescriptions will continue to be available at no cost to beneficiaries who use military pharmacies.

The increases were mandated under the fiscal 2016 National Defense Authorization Act, signed Nov. 25 by President Obama.

Under the legislation, pharmacy co-pays will rise each year in relation to the annual cost-of-living adjustment.

If the COLA increases the amount of a co-pay by 50 cents or more, the co-pay would be rounded up to the nearest dollar. If the increase is less than 50 cents, co-pays would remain the same but the increase would carry over to the following year, meaning that whenever the aggregate increase topped 50 cents, co-pays would rise to the next-highest dollar.

Congress is taking a “systemic look” at the military health system this year, with members of the House and Senate Armed Services committees saying that all aspects of the military medical system, including the pharmacy benefit, are under consideration for reform.

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