Reps. Lisa Blunt Rochester, D-Delaware, and Elaine Luria, D-Virginia, introduced on April 22 the Help Our Heroes Access Medicine Act, which will help ensure military retirees and their families can affordably access their prescription drugs and practice social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect our communities and our military, the country has adopted social distancing policies to flatten the curve so our public health institutions can continue to save lives,” said Blunt Rochester. “Forcing our servicemen and women to make the decision between saving money and their health is wrong.”

“Our bill, the Help Our Heroes Access Medicine Act, will resolve this issue by providing the Secretary with the authority to waive Tricare pharmacy copays during a national emergency or public health emergency,” continued Blunt Rochester. “This will allow our service members to access mail order prescriptions through Tricare without the cost of a copay. This is the least we can do for those who have served our nation.”

The Help Our Heroes Access Medicine Act would provide the Secretary of Defense authority to waive copayments for Tricare’s pharmacy benefit during a public health emergency or national emergency, including the authority to waive the mail-order pharmacy copay; provide guidelines to the secretary to future-proof this policy if additional waves of the COVID-19 pandemic, future pandemics or other national emergencies necessitate the waiver; and provides the secretary the authority immediately upon enactment.

The full text of the bill is available at bit.ly/3eHL6dl.