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The TRICARE Senior Supplement Demonstration (TSSD), conducted from March 2000 through December 2002 in selected areas of California and Texas, offers Medicare-eligible military beneficiaries the option of enrolling in the TRICARE health care program as a supplement to Medicare. This book describes RAND's evaluation of the TSSD program. The authors found that enrollment in TSSD was very low because of several factors including confusion among beneficiaries about the demonstration overall and the specifics of the TSSD benefit, the temporary nature of the demonstration program, and the passage of the 2001 National Defense Authorization Act, which created the permanent TRICARE for Life (TFL) program that supercedes TSSD. At the same time, eligible beneficiaries who enrolled in TSSD reported generally high levels of satisfaction with the program. The authors conclude that implementation of TSSD as a permanent national program would be feasible and would benefit many Medicare-eligible military retirees, relative to the military health benefits for which they were eligible prior to TSSD and TFL.

Table of Contents

  • Preface

  • Figures

  • Tables

  • Summary

  • Acknowledgements

    Acknowledgments

  • Acronyms

  • Chapter 1

    Introduction

  • Chapter 2

    Background on Medicare, Supplemental Coverage, and TSSD

  • Chapter 3

    Evaluation Methods and Data Sources

  • Chapter 4

    Focus Group Findings

  • Chapter 5

    Mail Survey Findings

  • Chapter 6

    Discussion and Conclusions

  • Appendix A

    Focus Group Recruitment Letters

  • Appendix B

    Mail Survey Cover Letters and Sponsor Endorsement Letter

  • Appendix C

    Focus Group Protocol

  • Appendix D

    Medigap Continuation Language from the TSSD Handbook

  • Appendix E

    Sample TSSD Mail Survey Instrument

  • Appendix F

    Selected TSSD Survey Comments

  • Appendix G

    Maps of Demonstration Areas

  • References

The research described in this report was performed under the auspices of RAND's RAND Health and RAND's National Security Research Division.

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