Congresswoman Elaine Luria Co-Leads Bill to Help Our Heroes Access Medicine

April 28, 2020
Press Release

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA – Congresswoman Luria joined Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester in spearheading the introduction of a bill to help ensure military families and retirees have access to affordable prescription drugs while staying safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It is critical that we protect those who have fought and served our country,” said Congresswoman Luria. “The Help Our Heroes Access Medicine Act would give the Secretary of Defense the authority to waive TRICARE copays on prescription drugs during a public health emergency or national emergency. I urge Congress to quickly pass this important bill that would protect military retirees’ and families’ access to prescription drugs while keeping them and mission critical personnel safe.”

Currently, TRICARE beneficiaries pay a $10 copay for a 90-day supply of a generic drug and $29 for name brand drugs via mail order. However, beneficiaries who pick up their prescriptions at Military Treatment Facilities (MTF) do not pay copays. Due to the continued spread of COVID-19, some installation commanders suspended installation access for retirees and survivors. This means many TRICARE beneficiaries are no longer able to access MTF pharmacies and must transfer their prescriptions to mail order of retail pharmacies. The copays on mail order prescriptions can be an unexpected financial burden during this time of uncertainty. This legislation echoes the bipartisan effort Congresswoman Luria led earlier this month that was endorsed by 13 Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs).

Congresswoman Elaine Luria represents Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District. She serves on the House Armed Services Committee, where she is the Vice Chair of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, and the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, where she serves as Chair of the Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs Subcommittee