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2023 Military Benefits Changes & Updates

Military Benefits Updates and Changes for 2023

Military benefits are updated for 2023 as of the first day of the new year. BAS, BAH, COLA, and other rates are subject to change from year to year. Here are the rates and information for 2023.

Military Pay Raise in 2023

A 4.6% pay raise is in the 2023 National Defense Authorization Act. It is the largest basic pay increase since 2001, and rising costs/inflation are factors in the 2023 numbers.

This pay raise may not be enough to help some military families keep up with rising food and housing costs.

New Basic Needs Allowance in 2023

The Basic Needs Allowance was created for active-duty service members with dependents who fall below federal poverty guidelines.

This allowance is considered taxable supplemental income and is offered to those who have completed basic training, meet income requirements, and apply for the program.

While DoD literature says the military services will begin screening military members who may qualify, to claim this allowance, you must formally apply.

Where to Apply for the Basic Needs Allowance

This application process is service-level which means your branch of military service will determine how the eligibility screening and application process will work. Contact your unit orderly room or command support staff to learn how to apply for this benefit should you qualify.

How Much is the Basic Needs Allowance?

BAH 2023 Rates

BAH is the Basic Allowance for Housing. BAH is based on your rank, dependent status, and geographic location. BAH is intended to cover 95% of your housing costs, and BAH is paid according to your duty station zip code.

The 2023 Basic Allowance for Housing rates increases by an average of 12.1 percent. That is according to the DoD, which notes, “The significant increase in average BAH rates is reflective of the unique market conditions experienced across many locations nationwide over the past year.”

When Does the New BAH Begin?

New BAH rates typically go into effect on January 1st with the changes reflected in the January 15th paycheck.

However, when using these rates for the GI Bill, the housing allowance is updated in September. Use the rates listed by the Department of Veterans Affairs for the Post-9/11 GI Bill to accurately calculate your potential BAH benefit in any given zip code.

You can calculate your BAH at the Defense Travel Management Office’s official site. When looking up BAH rates for the GI Bill, remember that the rate is paid at the equivalent of an E5 at the with-dependent rate for that zip code.

Higher COLA in 2023

There will be an 8.7% cost of living increase in 2023. That is a significant big step up from the past two COLA increases. Military retirees, those who receive VA disability pay, federal retirees, and Social Security recipients all get an 8.7% COLA increase in 2023.

For 2023, retired military members may see an additional $87 per each $1000 of retirement pay. 

That sum may be different for those who opted into a military retirement plan called CSB/REDUX offered starting in 1986. These retirees have a smaller Cost of Living Adjustment worth approximately $77 per $1000 when the new COLA payments begin in 2023.

BAS 2023 Rates

The monthly Basic Allowance for Subsistence (BAS) rates for 2023 are as follows:

Other Military Benefits Coming in 2023

The 2023 National Defense Authorization Act provides some additional new benefits in 2023, including but not limited to the following:

Military Pay and Allowance Benefits:

Military Healthcare, Education, and Childcare Benefits Changes in 2023

TRICARE Benefits in 2023

Some newcomers to TRICARE may be confused (at first) by TRICARE’s Group A and Group B options.

Knowing whether you are Group A or Group B will help you better understand the information below.

TRICARE Prime Costs for 2023

This section covers:

There are no annual enrollment fees for active duty service members, active duty family members, and qualifying surviving spouses/children.For retirees, their families, and “most others”:

Covered services for TRICARE Prime Group A and Group B feature no out-of-pocket expenses for active duty service members and families. For retirees and others, Group A and Group B:

The TRICARE official site advises that when using a TRICARE-authorized provider other than your primary care manager for nonemergency services without a referral, you pay:

TRICARE Select Costs 2023

This section covers:

There is no annual enrollment fee for active duty. For retirees, families, and others who may qualify under this section:

You must spend your annual deductible amount before TRICARE cost-sharing begins, according to

TRICARE Select Deductibles E4s and Below for TRICARE Select

Group A individuals and families TRICARE Deductible equals $50 and $100, respectively. The annual deductible for Group B and TRS members and family members equals $60 and $121, respectively.

TRICARE Select Deductibles E5s and Above for TRICARE Select

Group A individuals and family member deductibles equal $150 and $300, respectively. Group B and TRS individuals and family member deductibles equal $182 and $365, respectively.

TRICARE Select Deductibles for Retirees, Families, TRR members, and Others

TRICARE Premium-Based Plans

Those who have enrolled in TRICARE premium-based plans in 2023 will pay the following fees as applicable, either monthly or quarterly.

Continued Health Care Benefit Program: Member only=$1,654 Member and family=$4,134. This is paid on a quarterly basis. The following are all monthly plans:

TRICARE Catastrophic Cap in 2023

The catastrophic cap is the maximum amount those enrolled in TRICARE pay out of pocket for covered TRICARE health care services in a given year, excluding fees/premiums where applicable.

When reviewing the information below, know that TRICARE Young Adult catastrophic caps are based on the sponsor’s status but are listed in Group B. The Continued Health Care Benefit Program catastrophic cap also follows Group B.

TRICARE Pharmacy Costs in 2023

Active duty military members and families have no costs for military pharmacy needs, though for overseas prescriptions, you may be required to pay first and be reimbursed by TRICARE later.





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