Hoeven Cosponsors Legislation To Increase Health Care Options For Guard Members

Senator Meets with North Dakota National Guard Leaders, Outlines Work to Support Guard

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today met with leaders from the North Dakota National Guard to review Guard operations and to outline legislation he is cosponsoring that would increase health care choices for National Guard or Reserve service members who are also federal employees. 

The legislation provides these service members with the option to use TRICARE Reserve Select (TRS) for their health care coverage. Under current law, National Guard or Reserve service members who are federal employees are not eligible for TRS. Instead, they are required to enroll in the Federal Employee Health Benefits Plan. All other Reserve Component service members are allowed to utilize TRS. 

“Our North Dakota National Guard members do tremendous work and represent our state well wherever and whenever they are called to serve,” said Hoeven. ”This legislation helps ensure that our Guard members, regardless of their employer, have access to the TRICARE Reserve Select program for their health care coverage.” 

The bill is supported by the Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the United States and the National Guard Association of the United States. 

This legislation continues Hoeven’s efforts to provide Guard members with the benefits they deserve. Last year, the senator helped to secure a provision to make Guard members mobilized under domestic, pre-planned operations eligible for education benefits. The senator continues working to pass other components of the National Guard and Reserve Benefits Parity Act, which makes these reservists eligible not only for education benefits, but pre-deployment health care and adjustments to eligibility for retirement based on deployment time.

Additionally, as a member of the Senate Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Committee, Hoeven has been working to provide funding for a new Army National Guard Readiness Center in Fargo. The facility, which was included in the Administration’s budget request, will house, support and train three Army National Guard units. The center will include unheated enclosed vehicle storage and space to accommodate elements of the 141st Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, the 191st Military Police Company and the 112th Aviation Regiment.