The Department of Defense (DoD) Medicare Eligible Retiree Health Care Fund (the “Fund” or MERHCF). The FY2001 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) directed the establishment of the Medicare Eligible Retiree Health Care Fund to pay for Medicare-eligible retiree health care beginning on October 1, 2002. Prior to this date, care for Medicare-eligible beneficiaries was financed through annual Congressional appropriations for space available care in Military Treatment Facilities (MTFs). The Fund covers Medicare-eligible beneficiaries, regardless of age. (In the context of the Fund, hereafter the term “Medicare-eligible beneficiaries” is used to refer to Medicare-eligible beneficiaries who are related to retirees, i.e., retirees themselves, dependents of retirees, and survivors.)
The NDAA also established an independent three-member DoD Medicare-Eligible Retiree Health Care Board of Actuaries appointed by the Secretary of Defense. The Board is required to review the actuarial status of the Fund; to report annually to the Secretary of Defense, and to report to the President and the Congress on the status of the Fund at least every four years. The DoD Office of the Actuary provides all technical and administrative support to the Board.
Within DoD, the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, through the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs (TRICARE Management Activity [TMA]), has as one of its missions operational oversight of the Defense TRICARE Health Delivery System, including management of the Medicare- Eligible Retiree Health Care Fund (the Fund). The Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) provides accounting and investment services for the Fund.