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Military Benefits Updates for 2024

Military Benefits Updates and Changes for 2024

Military benefits are updated for 2024 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 2024.

Military Pay Raise in 2024

The 2024 National Defense Authorization Act authorized a 5.2% pay raise. It is the largest basic pay increase in approximately two decades.

Expanded Eligibility for the Basic Needs Allowance in 2024

The Basic Needs Allowance, authorized for active-duty service members with dependents who fall below federal poverty guidelines, has been expanded and updated in 2024.

2024 guidelines added the exclusion of military housing allowances when determining the gross household income of those applying for the allowance. The BNA is defined as a “taxable supplemental income” benefit. It’s provided to troops who have graduated from basic training, meet income requirements, and who apply. The benefit is not automatic.

The amount of the Basic Needs Allowance is calculated “to bring the service member’s gross household income up to an acceptable-to-DoD percentage of Federal Poverty Guidelines,” which vary depending on where you live.

BAH 2024 Rates

BAH is the Basic Allowance for Housing, established based on rank, dependent status, and location. BAH is not intended to cover all housing costs, is based on rental data and not homeownership data, and is paid according to your duty station zip code.

The 2024 Basic Allowance for Housing rates increases by an average of 5.2%

New BAH rates typically go into effect on January 1st. Any increases are reflected in the January 15th paycheck.

GI Bill BAH Rates Are Updated In September

Use the rates listed by the Department of Veterans Affairs for the Post-9/11 GI Bill official site to calculate your potential BAH benefit during the academic year accurately.

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.

VET TEC Pilot Program Ends

One negative to report for 2024 military benefits? The end of the VA VET TEC pilot program. VET TEC was a five-year test program formally known as the Veteran Employment Through Technology Education Courses (VET TEC). When it was open to new applications, the VET TEC program offered $45 million in annual benefits to qualifying military members as an alternative to the GI Bill for approved coursework.

Higher COLA in 2024

There will be a 3.2% cost of living increase in 2024. Military retirees, those who receive VA disability pay, federal retirees, and Social Security recipients all get this COLA increase effective 1 January 2024.

BAS 2024 Rates

The monthly Basic Allowance for Subsistence (BAS) rates for 2024 increased by 1.7%

  • Officers: $316.98
  • Enlisted: $460.25

TRICARE Benefits in 2024

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

  • Group A is for those who signed up before 2018.
  • Group B is for those who signed up on or after Jan. 1, 2018

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

TRICARE Prime Costs for 2024

This section covers:

  • TRICARE Prime
  • TRICARE Prime Overseas
  • TRICARE Prime Remote
  • TRICARE Prime Remote Overseas,
  • US Family Health Plan (USFHP)
  • TRICARE Young Adult Prime plans

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”:

  • Group A: $363 per individual/$726 per family
  • Group B: $438.96 per individual/$879 per family

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:

  • Preventive Care Visit $0
  • Primary Care Outpatient Visit $25
  • Specialty Care Outpatient Visit $37
  • Urgent Care Center Visit $37
  • Emergency Room Visit $75
  • Inpatient Admission in-network (Hospitalization) $188

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:

  • An annual deductible before TRICARE cost-sharing begins. This deductible is $300 per person and $600 per family.
  • The patient pays half the TRICARE-allowable charge for TRICARE services beyond the deductible.
  • TRICARE does not apply these charges to the catastrophic cap.

TRICARE Select Costs 2024

This section covers:

  • TRICARE Select
  • TRICARE Select Overseas
  • TRICARE Reserve Select
  • TRICARE Retired Reserve
  • TRICARE Young Adult Select
  • Continued Health Care Benefit Program

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

  • Group A: $177.96 per individual/$355.92 per family
    Group B: $564.96 per individual/$1,131 per family

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

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 $62 and $125, 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 $188 and $377, respectively.

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

  • TRICARE Group A individual and family member deductibles for 2024 equal $150 and $300, respectively.
  • Group B in-network=$188
  • TRS members in-network=$377
  • Out-of-network the fees are $377 and $754, respectively.

TRICARE Premium-Based Plans in 2024

The TRICARE official site advises that in 2024, if you are enrolled in any of the following plans, Group A beneficiaries follow Group B annual deductibles and applicable copayments or cost-shares.

  • TRICARE Reserve Select (TRS)
  • TRICARE Retired Reserve (TRR)
  • TRICARE Young Adult (TYA)
  •  Continued Health Care Benefit Program (CHCBP),

Continued Health Care Benefit Program: Member only: $1,813 Member and family: $4,539. This is paid quarterly. The following are all monthly plans:

  • TRICARE Reserve Select: Member only= $51.95 Member and family = $256.87
  • TRICARE Retired Reserve: Member only= $585.24 Member and family = $1406.22
  • TRICARE Young Adult Prime: Individual coverage = $637
  • TRICARE Young Adult Select: Individual coverage = $311

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.

  • Active duty family members in Group A: $1,000 per family
  • Active duty family members in Group B $1,256 per family
  • Retirees, families, and others in Group A: $4,1567/family (Prime) $4,399/family (Select)
  • Retirees, families, and others in Group B: $4,399/family
  • TRS members (Group A or Group B): $1,256/family
  • TRR members (Group A or B): $4399/family

TRICARE Pharmacy Costs in 2024

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

  • TRICARE Pharmacy home delivery and retail network pharmacy costs in 2024 may range from $13 to $76 depending on the circumstances.
  • Using a non-network pharmacy may require a 50% cost share for TRICARE Prime.
  •  “All other beneficiaries” pay either $76 or 20% of the total cost of the prescription after the deductible has been paid.





About the author

Editor-in-Chief | + posts

Editor-in-Chief Joe Wallace is a 13-year veteran of the United States Air Force and a former reporter/editor for Air Force Television News and the Pentagon Channel. His freelance work includes contract work for Motorola, VALoans.com, and Credit Karma. He is co-founder of Dim Art House in Springfield, Illinois, and spends his non-writing time as an abstract painter, independent publisher, and occasional filmmaker.