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Fleet Reserve Association News-Bytes - 01-07-05

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haele Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 12:28 PM
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Fleet Reserve Association News-Bytes - 01-07-05
Items covered in this week's newsletter -

* FRA Announces Its 2005 Legislative Priorities
* Important Medicare Part B Update
* Concurrent Receipt Payments
* Crosby-Puller Combat Wounds Compensation Act
* Sea Service Battle Histories on new Military History Channel

Legislative Priorities for 2005

As the 109th Congress began its first session this week, FRA's
legislative team announced the priority issues to be addressed by
the Association in 2005.
(snip rest - no agenda items listed)

Medicare Part B Update

The Department of Defense (DoD) recently identified approximately
68,000 TRICARE For Life (TFL)-eligible military retirees who are
not enrolled in Medicare Part B, which is necessary for them to
benefit from this program. According to the TRICARE Management
Activity (TMA), the aforementioned retirees were sent a letter
advising them of the need to enroll in Medicare Part B, and
further guidance would be provided in a second letter from the
Center of Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). FRA has since
learned that about 30,000 of these individuals never received any
additional correspondence on this matter.
(snip)
TMA has been working closely with CMS and the Social Security
Administration (SSA) to resolve this matter. TMA and SSA have
posted information on their web sites informing beneficiaries of
the impact this will have on their health care, and some actions
they can take. Visit TMA's web site
(http://www.tricare.osd.mil/medicare/medicarepartbupdate... ) or
call 1-800-772-1213 for additional information.

Concurrent Receipt Payments (Retirees that are 100% disabled)

As reported in earlier editions of News Bytes, the FY 2005
National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) accelerated the
implementation of concurrent receipt for those military retirees
who are 100 percent disabled, effective 1 January 2005. Increased
benefits are expected to be paid in upcoming February retirement
checks.
(snip)
If you have specific questions, please call Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) toll-free 1-800-472-7098 between 0800-1630 EST, Monday through Friday (except Federal holidays), or visit
https://mypay.dfas.mil /

Crosby-Puller Combat Wounds Compensation Act

FRA strongly supports the Crosby-Puller Combat Wounds
Compensation Act, a bill introduced in the 108th Congress that
would ensure a member of the armed forces recuperating from
wounds or injuries incurred in a combat zone will continue to
receive the special pays and allowances associated with his/her
service. The bill seeks to delay cuts in special pays and
allowances until the service member is either reassigned for duty
or discharged from the Armed Services. Currently the common
practice is to reduce combat pay and benefits to a member of the
armed forces if the soldier is evacuated from a combat zone.
FRA commends Representative Edward J. Markey (Mass.) who
introduced the measure, and is working with his staff to ensure
reintroduced in the 109th Congress, which convened this week.

Other items "In The News" from FRA's website:

'IU' Retirees Await Decision
Defense officials, as of Jan. 6, still awaited word from the White Houses Office of Management and Budget on whether to pay accelerated Concurrent Retirement and Disability Pay (CRDP) to 28,000 retirees rated "unemployable" by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Since then, the Bush administration has been studying whether accelerated CRDP must be paid to retirees with disabilities rated below 100 percent if they draw VA compensation at the 100 percent level because their wounds or ailments are so serious they are deemed unemployable.
Pentagon lawyers believe they must be included. But Defense officials awaited a final okay from OMB before making an announcement and ordering finance centers to raise CRDP sharply for 28,000 retirees. The higher payments, if and when they begin, will be retroactive to Jan. 1, 2005.

Sex Assault Policy Fortified

Sexual assault victims in the military have only one avenue inside their command a visit to the chaplain to report an attack and receive counseling, and still have the incident remain confidential.
That weakness and others, involving lack of victim protection and inadequate command response, are targets of new sexual assault policies unveiled at the Pentagon Jan. 4.


Haele
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