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House Democrats' bill would waive prescription copays for military personnel, families

House Democrats' bill would waive prescription copays for military personnel, families
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Democratic Reps. Elaine LuriaElaine Goodman LuriaMcAuliffe holds wide lead in Virginia gubernatorial primary: poll Lauren Underwood endorses Jennifer Carroll Foy in Virginia governors race Northam backing McAuliffe in Virginia governor's race MORE (Va.) and Lisa Blunt Rochester (Del.) on Tuesday introduced a bill that would waive prescription copays for military personnel and their families amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

The bill would “give the Secretary of Defense the authority to waive TRICARE copays on prescription drugs during a public health emergency or national emergency,” Luria said in a statement, referring to the military health care system managed by the Department of Defense.  

TRICARE beneficiaries pay a $10 copay for a 90-day supply of a generic drug and $29 for name brand drugs via mail order. Beneficiaries who get their prescriptions at Military Treatment Facilities (MTF) do not pay a copay. 

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Since the spread of the coronavirus, MTF pharmacies have seen increased traffic, leading them to suspend access for retirees and other beneficiaries. 

“The copays on mail order prescriptions can be an unexpected financial burden during this time of uncertainty,” Luria said in a statement.

Luria, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, has previously led bipartisan efforts to lower prescription drug costs for veterans.