MOAA National

Piedmont South Carolina Chapter


   This article is taken from the MOAA website.  It is writen by Amy Bushatz and originally appeared on, a premier resource for the military and veteran community. 
   Military members and retirees, including TRICARE for Life users, are used to slight drug price co-pay increases   year over year.
   But when fees for 90-day supplies for prescription drugs received through the system's mail-order pharmacy,   Express Scripts, went from free to $7 on Feb. 1, many TRICARE for Life users said they were blindsided. They   had been told they would be largely exempt from a series of major TRICARE changes rolled out Jan. 1,   including higher co-pays and enrollment fees.

    So why were they now being billed for drugs that had been free? The answer is that the Feb. 1 drug price increases and the Jan. 1 TRICARE changes are entirely unrelated. But TRICARE for Life users still wondered where, exactly, these changes came from.  That history lies in the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act, and a section that makes permanent a protection for military survivors against a measure known as the "widows tax."

    That measure required that any money received from the Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) by a new widow or widower whose spouse died from a service-related cause be offset dollar-to-dollar by the money he or she could receive from the Dependency and Indemnity Compensation program. The fix, which had been set to expire this year, reduced the amount of that offset.

    Some members of Congress wanted to make that fix permanent. But to do so, they had to find a way to pay for it -- to the tune of about $1 billion a year.  The funding solution? Raise pharmacy fees for everyone. That pharmacy cost increase, which impacts all TRICARE pharmacy users, was approved in the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act.  As a result, the only places left for beneficiaries to receive medication for free are military treatment facility pharmacies.



   OUR CHAPTER's  November 15 (Thursday) meeting is at Tuckers on Clemson Blvd in Anderson. Our guest speaker is Mr. W. Russell "Rusty" Burns.  Rusty has been the Anderson County Administrator since 2009.  So, if you have questions; road repair, leash laws, law enforcement, etc, bring them. President Steve Ford will also be giving us a briefing on the status of the SC Legislative/Military Commission and the way forward for the 2019 state legislative session. We will also be voting on the installation of our 2019 slate of chapter officers.  An important meeting!   Please make every effort to attend!  Please click the Red Button above to our newsletter for the latest information on our chapter or click the Blue Button for our Facebook Page which has up-to-date posts on our Chapter and MOAA initiatives/news. For the Nov meeting please  RSVP by NOV 12 & /Mail Checks to: LTC Fred Schwerdtfeger. 210 Lewis Road, Williamston, SC 29697.... Checks made payable to: Piedmont Chapter, MOAA.  Call Fred at  (864) 224-3956. 

THE NEW FEDERAL TAX LAW COULD HIT YOU WITH HIGHER STATE TAXES... Here is how that may be the case for you.   In many states tax laws are automatically synced to changes in the federal code. In the new federal tax law Congress pared back or eliminated a lot of federal tax breaks when it increased the standard deduction. The result is that those tax breaks you used to get on your state taxes are now automatically eliminated from state taxes where the state is synced to federal tax law. 
       The end result will be higher state taxes... Unless the affected states' legislatures act to correct the situation. So what is South Carolina doing? Will SC take the windfall if it is coming, and even hide that fact by not telling you - the citizen - you are going to be hit by this change, or will your elected representatives protect the taxpayers? MOAA South Carolina members might consider contacting their State representatives and ask them. For MOAA SC members and friends, we have the website that enables you to contact your SC State Senator and House of Representatives legislators. This is not a 'Partisan' political concern. It is a citizen concern. 

DID YOU KNOW THAT YOUR GRANDCHILD, IF A CHILD OF AN ENLISTED MEMBER in the Active, Reserve, or National Guard, is eligible for the MOAA Scholarship and Loan Awards Programs?   Yes they are. Learn more about this great MOAA program (interest free college loans !!here.  DID YOU KNOW THAT BASIC MEMBERSHIP IN MOAA IS FREE?  It is.  OR WHAT THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BASIC MEMBERSHIP AND YEARLY PAID MEMBERSHIP ($49 per year), OR LIFETIME MEMBERSHIP IS?  Learn More here:  ​