(U.S. Senate) — As part of his continued efforts to ensure servicemembers, military spouses, and veterans receive their earned benefits, U.S. Senator Jon Tester recently introduced the Improving Access to Maternal Health for Military and Dependent Moms Act, a bipartisan bill with Republican Senator Marco Rubio of Florida to improve servicemembers, military spouses, and veterans’ maternal health care.
The Senators’ bipartisan legislation would require the Department of Defense (DoD) to provide Congress with a comprehensive study on access to maternal health care within TRICARE, the military health care system, for servicemembers, retirees, and their dependents. TRICARE delivers health care services for active duty servicemembers, Guard and Reserve members, military retirees, and their family members.
“It’s critically important that mothers who are veterans, military spouses, or currently serving this country have access to quality, affordable health care,” said Tester. “Our bill will help make sure female servicemembers and military spouses in Montana and across the country can access the same care as civilians through TRICARE, and ensure we live up to the promises we make to them when they sign up to serve our nation.”
“Ensuring the well-being of our military families means addressing the unique challenges mothers face while they, or their spouses, serve in the military,” said Rubio. “The Improving Access to Maternal Health for Military and Dependent Moms Act is a crucial step towards understanding and overcoming the obstacles to maternal health care within the Military Health System.”
Tester and Rubio’s efforts to bolster servicemembers and military spouses’ maternal health are supported by Military Family Advisory Network, Military Officers Association of America, and the National Military Family Association.
As Chairman of both the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee and Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, Tester has been fighting to improve care offered to servicemembers, veterans, and their families through the TRICARE network.
Following a move by TRICARE’s pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts to reduce the number of in-network pharmacies in Montana and across the country in 2022, Tester demanded DoD take swift action to safeguard access to these earned benefits. He also led a bipartisan effort to push DoD to proactively restore TRICARE benefits for 25,000 servicemembers and their families who were wrongly removed from the system in 2023 due to technical issues with the U.S. Army’s new human resources platform.