United States Code

USC most recently checked for updates: Feb 08, 2023

§ 1145.
Health benefits
(a)
Transitional Health Care.—
(1)
For the time period described in paragraph (4), a member of the armed forces who is separated from active duty as described in paragraph (2) (and the dependents of the member) shall be entitled to receive—
(A)
except as provided in paragraph (3), medical and dental care under section 1076 of this title in the same manner as a dependent described in subsection (a)(2) of such section; and
(B)
health benefits contracted under the authority of section 1079(a) of this title and subject to the same rates and conditions as apply to persons covered under that section.
(2)
This subsection applies to the following members of the armed forces:
(A)
A member who is involuntarily separated from active duty.
(B)
A member of a reserve component who is separated from active duty to which called or ordered under section 12304b of this title or a provision of law referred to in section 101(a)(13)(B) of this title if the active duty is active duty for a period of more than 30 days.
(C)
A member who is separated from active duty for which the member is involuntarily retained under section 12305 of this title in support of a contingency operation.
(D)
A member who is separated from active duty served pursuant to a voluntary agreement of the member to remain on active duty for a period of less than one year in support of a contingency operation.
(E)
A member who receives a sole survivorship discharge (as defined in section 1174(i) of this title).
(F)
A member who is separated from active duty who agrees to become a member of the Selected Reserve of the Ready Reserve of a reserve component.
(3)
In the case of a member described in paragraph (2)(B), the dental care to which the member is entitled under this subsection shall be the dental care to which a member of the uniformed services on active duty for more than 30 days is entitled under section 1074 of this title.
(4)
Except as provided in paragraph (7), transitional health care for a member under subsection (a) shall be available for 180 days beginning on the date on which the member is separated from active duty. For purposes of the preceding sentence, in the case of a member on active duty as described in subparagraph (B), (C), or (D) of paragraph (2) who, without a break in service, is extended on active duty for any reason, the 180-day period shall begin on the date on which the member is separated from such extended active duty.
(5)
(A)
Except as provided in subparagraph (D), the Secretary concerned shall require a member of the armed forces scheduled to be separated from active duty as described in paragraph (2) to undergo a physical examination and a mental health assessment conducted pursuant to section 1074n of this title immediately before that separation. The physical examination shall be conducted in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Secretary of Defense.
(B)
Notwithstanding subparagraph (A), if a member of the armed forces scheduled to be separated from active duty as described in paragraph (2) has otherwise undergone a physical examination within 12 months before the scheduled date of separation from active duty, the requirement for a physical examination under subparagraph (A) may be waived in accordance with regulations prescribed under this paragraph. Such regulations shall require that such a waiver may be granted only with the consent of the member and with the concurrence of the member’s unit commander.
(C)
The Secretary concerned shall ensure that each physical examination of a member under subparagraph (A) includes an assessment of whether the member was—
(i)
based or stationed at a location where an open burn pit, as defined in subsection (c) of section 201 of the Dignified Burial and Other Veterans’ Benefits Improvement Act of 2012 (Public Law 112–260; 38 U.S.C. 527 note), was used; or
(ii)
exposed to toxic airborne chemicals or other airborne contaminants, including any information recorded as part of the registry established by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs under such section 201.
(D)
The requirement for a physical examination and mental health assessment under subparagraph (A) shall not apply with respect to a member of a reserve component described in paragraph (2)(B) unless the member is retiring, or being discharged or dismissed, from the armed forces.
(6)
(A)
The Secretary of Defense shall, in consultation with the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, ensure that appropriate actions are taken to assist a member of the armed forces who, as a result of a medical examination under paragraph (5), receives an indication for a referral for follow up treatment from the health care provider who performs the examination.
(B)
Assistance provided to a member under paragraph (1) shall include the following:
(i)
Information regarding, and any appropriate referral for, the care, treatment, and other services that the Secretary of Veterans Affairs may provide to such member under any other provision of law, including—
(I)
clinical services, including counseling and treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental health conditions; and
(II)
any other care, treatment, and services.
(ii)
Information on the private sector sources of treatment that are available to the member in the member’s community.
(iii)
Assistance to enroll in the health care system of the Department of Veterans Affairs for health care benefits for which the member is eligible under laws administered by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs.
(7)
(A)
A member who has a medical condition relating to service on active duty that warrants further medical care that has been identified during the member’s 180-day transition period, which condition can be resolved within 180 days as determined by a Department of Defense physician, shall be entitled to receive medical and dental care for that medical condition, and that medical condition only, as if the member were a member of the armed forces on active duty for 180 days following the diagnosis of the condition.
(B)
The Secretary concerned shall ensure that the Defense Enrollment and Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) is continually updated in order to reflect the continuing entitlement of members covered by subparagraph (A) to the medical and dental care referred to in that subparagraph.
(b)
Conversion Health Policies.—
(1)
The Secretary of Defense shall inform each member referred to in subsection (a) before the date of the member’s discharge or release from active duty of the availability for purchase by the member of a conversion health policy for the member and the dependents of that member. A conversion health policy offered under this paragraph shall provide coverage for not less than an 18-month period.
(2)
If a member referred to in subsection (a) purchases a conversion health policy during the period applicable to the member (or within a reasonable time after that period as prescribed by the Secretary of Defense), the Secretary shall provide health care, or pay the costs of health care provided, to the member and the dependents of the member—
(A)
during the 18-month period beginning on the date on which coverage under the conversion health policy begins; and
(B)
for a condition (including pregnancy) that exists on such date and for which care is not provided under the policy solely on the grounds that the condition is a preexisting condition.
(3)
The Secretary of Defense may arrange for the provision of health care described in paragraph (2) through a contract with the insurer offering the conversion health policy.
(4)
If the Secretary of Defense is unable, within a reasonable time, to enter into a contract with a private insurer to provide the conversion health policy required under paragraph (1) at a rate not to exceed the payment required under section 8905a(d)(1)(A) of title 5 for comparable coverage, the Secretary shall offer such a policy under the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Uniformed Services. Subject to paragraph (5), a member purchasing a policy from the Secretary shall be required to pay into the Military Health Care Account or other appropriate account an amount equal to the sum of—
(A)
the individual and Government contributions which would be required in the case of a person enrolled in a health benefits plan contracted for under section 1079 of this title; and
(B)
an amount necessary for administrative expenses, but not to exceed two percent of the amount under subparagraph (A).
(5)
The amount paid by a member who purchases a conversion health policy from the Secretary of Defense under paragraph (4) may not exceed the payment required under section 8905a(d)(1)(A) of title 5 for comparable coverage.
(6)
In order to reduce premiums required under paragraph (4), the Secretary of Defense may offer a conversion health policy that, with respect to mental health services, offers reduced coverage and increased cost-sharing by the purchaser.
(c)
Health Care For Certain Separated Members Not Otherwise Eligible.—
(1)
Consistent with the authority of the Secretary concerned to designate certain classes of persons as eligible to receive health care at a military medical facility, the Secretary concerned should consider authorizing, on an individual basis in cases of hardship, the provision of that care for a member who is separated from the armed forces, and is ineligible for transitional health care under subsection (a) or does not obtain a conversion health policy (or a dependent of the member).
(2)
(d)
Physical Examinations for Certain Members of a Reserve Component.—
(1)
The Secretary concerned shall provide a physical examination pursuant to subsection (a)(5) to each member of a reserve component who—
(A)
during the two-year period before the date on which the member is scheduled to be separated from the armed forces served on active duty in support of a contingency operation for a period of more than 30 days;
(B)
will not otherwise receive such an examination under such subsection; and
(C)
elects to receive such a physical examination.
(2)
The Secretary concerned shall—
(A)
provide the physical examination under paragraph (1) to a member during the 90-day period before the date on which the member is scheduled to be separated from the armed forces; and
(B)
issue orders to such a member to receive such physical examination.
(3)
A member may not be entitled to health care benefits pursuant to subsection (a), (b), or (c) solely by reason of being provided a physical examination under paragraph (1).
(4)
In providing to a member a physical examination under paragraph (1), the Secretary concerned shall provide to the member a record of the physical examination.
(e)
Definition.—
In this section, the term “conversion health policy” means a health insurance policy with a private insurer, developed through negotiations between the Secretary of Defense and a private insurer, that is available for purchase by or for the use of a person who is no longer a member of the armed forces or a covered beneficiary.
(f)
Coast Guard.—
The Secretary of Homeland Security shall implement this section for the members of the Coast Guard and their dependents when the Coast Guard is not operating as a service in the Navy.
(Added Pub. L. 101–510, div. A, title V, § 502(a)(1), Nov. 5, 1990, 104 Stat. 1555; amended Pub. L. 102–484, div. D, title XLIV, § 4407(a), Oct. 23, 1992, 106 Stat. 2707; Pub. L. 103–160, div. A, title V, § 561(i), Nov. 30, 1993, 107 Stat. 1668; Pub. L. 103–337, div. A, title V, § 542(a)(4), Oct. 5, 1994, 108 Stat. 2768; Pub. L. 105–261, div. A, title V, § 561(h), Oct. 17, 1998, 112 Stat. 2026; Pub. L. 106–398, § 1 [[div. A], title V, § 571(h)], Oct. 30, 2000, 114 Stat. 1654, 1654A–134; Pub. L. 107–107, div. A, title VII, § 736(a), (b), Dec. 28, 2001, 115 Stat. 1172; Pub. L. 107–296, title XVII, § 1704(b)(1), Nov. 25, 2002, 116 Stat. 2314; Pub. L. 107–314, div. A, title VII, § 706(a), (b), Dec. 2, 2002, 116 Stat. 2585; Pub. L. 108–375, div. A, title VII, § 706(a)(1), (3), (b), Oct. 28, 2004, 118 Stat. 1983; Pub. L. 109–163, div. A, title VII, § 749, Jan. 6, 2006, 119 Stat. 3364; Pub. L. 110–181, div. A, title XVI, § 1637, Jan. 28, 2008, 122 Stat. 464; Pub. L. 110–317, § 4, Aug. 29, 2008, 122 Stat. 3528; Pub. L. 110–417, [div. A], title VII, § 734(a), Oct. 14, 2008, 122 Stat. 4513; Pub. L. 111–84, div. A, title VII, § 703, Oct. 28, 2009, 123 Stat. 2373; Pub. L. 112–81, div. A, title VII, § 706, Dec. 31, 2011, 125 Stat. 1474; Pub. L. 112–239, div. A, title X, § 1076(f)(15), Jan. 2, 2013, 126 Stat. 1952; Pub. L. 115–91, div. A, title V, § 511(b), title VII, §§ 705, 706(a), Dec. 12, 2017, 131 Stat. 1376, 1435, 1436; Pub. L. 116–92, div. A, title VII, § 704(b), Dec. 20, 2019, 133 Stat. 1438; Pub. L. 117–81, div. A, title VII, § 717, Dec. 27, 2021, 135 Stat. 1789.)
cite as: 10 USC 1145