NERA News

NERA’s mission is to promote and maintain national security by ensuring a strong and well-trained Naval, Coast Guard and Marine Corps Reserve. NERA is a founding member of The Military Coalition (TMC). By partnering with 31 military, veterans and uniformed services organizations, NERA is able to promote sea service reservists benefits by aligning with the grassroots support of more than 5.5 million TMC members and their families.

Legislative Updates


NERA follows numerous legislative proposals in Congress that concern our members. Here are the highlights of the current legislative initiatives NERA is tracking:

Enlisted Rating Titles Elimination

The Navy CNO has announced plans to eliminate its numerous enlisted rating titles and just use the rank. This is part of a move to make titles in the Navy gender neutral. It also is intended to bring the Navy titles in line with the other services. Instead of being a Chief OS, BM, CT, HM, etc. they will just be titled Chief; Petty Officer 1st Class, 2nd Class 3rd Class; etc. It is expected to take several years to fully implement the changes.


FY 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)

Although final decisions won’t be made until early December when the Continuing Resolution runs out and the FY 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is expected to be passed, there are  a few changes that we anticipate will happen because they were approved by both the House and Senate versions:

  • TRICARE Standard will be renamed (i.e., TRICARE Preferred) and be redone as a preferred provider network. That will result in some higher charges for visits to providers not in the new network.

    This new network will have an annual enrollment requirement. Those members currently under 65 years of age and in TRICARE Standard have never previously had to enroll. Beginning in 2017 retirees and family members will have to enroll in either the new preferred provider network or in TRICARE Prime or they won’t be covered.

  • By January, 2020, retired enrollees in the newer preferred provider network will have an annual enrollment fee. This is a significant change as current TRICARE standard enrollees have no enrollment fee. Final fee determinations will be decided in what is passed in the NDAA.
  • SBP-DIC Survivors- It is expected that the Special Survivor Indemnity Allowance (SSIA) monthly payments will be extended another year, rather than allowed to expire next year. We continue to push for elimination of the SBP-DIC offset.
  • Reserve Reimbursement for Travel for Drills- Provision to give service secretaries flexibility in reimbursements to members traveling beyond normal commuting distance.
  • Commissaries- Congress is requiring commissaries to maintain the same overall levels of savings and satisfaction, but authorizes variable pricing between locations and testing of “store brands”. This will likely result in increases and decreases in costs to members, depending on location.

NERA News

 

Big Changes to TRICARE Pharmacy Network

Effective December 1, 2016, the TRICARE pharmacy network contractor, Express Scripts Inc (ESI) announced that Walgreens Drug stores will rejoin the pharmacy network. The current CVS drug store chain will be dropped from this network. This means TRICARE users will now be able to fill their prescriptions off-base at Walgreen's pharmacies without paying out-of-network rates.  However CVS users will have to change pharmacies or pay unsubsidized rates for their medications. By adding Walgreens back into the network, TRICARE hopes it is providing their beneficiaries a network pharmacy within 5 miles of their home. This new network will have more than 57,000 locations nationwide, and hopefully TRICARE beneficiaries will have convenient access to retail pharmacies in their community.

NERA/USAA Scholarship Winners

The Naval Enlisted Reserve Association (NERA) offers a college scholarship program for NERA members and their families. These scholarships recognize the sacrifices made by Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard Reserve component members, retirees and families members. They are made possible by generous grants from USAA (www.usaa.com) and additional donations from NERA and its members.

Congratulations to the following scholarship winners!

 

$3,000 NERA Members Awards

HM3 Ian Marshman
Miss Madelaine Morris

$2500 NERA Family Awards

Nathan Arnold
Summer Davis
Carson Dennis
Desarae Finck-Fugazi