Military Benefit Changes For 2020

military benefits changes 2020

Military Benefit Changes For 2020

Changes announced so far.  Please keep checking back, as we will continue updating new changes to your military benefits for 2020.

TRICARE Drug Costs Increase By Over 40%

Every year on January 1st, TRICARE has its regular cost increases. In 2020, we will see updates on prescription drug costs. According to an article on, we could see an increase of as much as 42%. This could be quite a change for some people.  But while the percentage is high, the change in real dollars is from $7 to $10.

As of January 1st, 2020, prices of all generic drugs, as well as the brand-name and non-formulary drugs that you purchase either through mail-order or at in-network, or at out-of-network pharmacies will increase. If you continue to get your prescriptions filled at on-base or on-post pharmacies, the cost will remain free and you will not see the increase.

These changes should be kept in mind if you are used to getting your prescriptions away from the on-base or on-post pharmacies.

Rates for Vision in 2020

The rates for vision and retiree dental insurance will be increasing in 2020. If you are enrolled in FEDVIP you will need to decide if you will change plans or stick with what you have. If you stick with what you have it will be at the new 2020 rates.

FEDVIP is vision insurance for military dependents, retirees, and their families.  FEDVIP is also dental insurance for retirees and their families.

Retiree Dental Insurance in 2020

Dental premiums will increase by 5.6% on average over current rates, with vision premiums increasing by 1.5% on average, according to TRICARE. The Federal Benefits Open Season begins on November 11th and ends December 9th. If you want to change your plan, you must do so during open season or following a FEDVIP qualifying life event. You can use the FEDVIP plan comparison tool to see what these changes mean for you and if you should choose another plan. In 2020, FEDVIP will offer 10 dental and 4 vision carriers you can choose from.

COLA Increases

COLA will have an increase of 1.6% in 2020 which is lower than the 2019 increase of 2.8%. COLA increases are based on the increase in the CPI-W, from the 3rd quarter of 2018 through the third quarter of 2019. Increases can change year to year. The last few years have seen, 0.0% in 2016, .3% in 2017, 2.0% in 2018, and 2.8% in 2019. Military retirees, those who receive disability payments, or other benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs, federal retirees, as well as Social Security recipients will all see the 1.6% increase in their monthly payments.

Retirement Pay

When it comes to retirement pay, it is important to keep in mind that since the increase for the year is calculated differently than active duty pay, the raises can seem a little different based on the year. Based on the 1.6% increase, in 2020 you would receive $16 for every $1,000 in government benefits you receive. If a veteran is receiving around $2,000 a month as retirement pay, they would see an increase of $32 a month.

A veteran who entered military service after July 31, 1986, has had the option of going with the “Career Status Bonus” or (CSB)/REDUX instead of the “High 3-year average” option with regards to retirement pay. This means that they would have received $30,000 during their 15th year of service and will see a reduced retirement rate until they are 62 years old. This also means that their COLA increase is reduced by 1%, which would change the amount of the increase they would see in 2020.

VA Disability

VA Disability payments would also increase in 2020. A veteran with a 60% rating would see about an $18 a month increase, while a veteran with a 100% rating would see a $49 a month increase. The amount they would receive depends on their rating as well as their veteran dependent status.

Social Security Payments

Beyond veteran payments are social security payments. According to the Social Security Administration, the average monthly Social Security benefit in June 2019 was $1,471 for the retired worker. Based on this, the average beneficiary would see an increase of $24 in 2020.

We will update as more 2020 military benefits changes are announced!