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Who can fill me in on Tricare?
Old 07-13-2004, 10:33 AM   #1
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Who can fill me in on Tricare?

I will be eligible for US Army retirement soon as I was a reservist for 20+ years and part of the retirement package that I am eligible for at age 60 is participating in Tricare medical plan.

I'm covered by the wife's Humana group insurance but I am thinking of bailing out of Humana's spouse coverage and enrolling in Tricare. *My physician is in both plans so I will have to make no changes there.

What are your experiences with Tricare?
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No Tricare problems, but no health issues either.
Old 07-13-2004, 11:00 AM   #2
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No Tricare problems, but no health issues either.

Tricare Retired has a big benefits book that's about as much fun to read as a mutual-fund prospectus, but it lists the benefits to compare it to your spouse's health plan. You can download a copy from http://www.tricare.osd.mil/ .

I haven't had any problems, but I just go for an annual checkup and the occasional stupid recreational injury. I get a quarterly bill for $115 (family coverage), pay it on a credit card, pay an additional $12 at the doctor's office, and never pay any attention to the rest.

It gets tricky if you're eligible for other coverage. Read Tricare's fine print on who's first to pay before you cut the Humana cord. Your spouse is also eligible for Tricare but your decision depends on chronic health conditions, prescription pharmacy availability, etc.

It also gets tricky if your doctor has to refer you to a specialist, and if Tricare decides that the specialist is a military physician. That gets old very quickly if you're a couple hundred miles from the nearest military base. It's the primary reason that we retired in Oahu instead of on a neighbor island.

You'll get thrown out of Tricare Retired at age 65 (when your retired ID card expires) to sign up for "Tricare for Life". I think that's a Medicare supplement but I'm going to have to defer to the experience of the "more senior" military retirees here.
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Re: Who can fill me in on Tricare?
Old 07-13-2004, 03:03 PM   #3
 
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Re: Who can fill me in on Tricare?

I use Tricare Standard. Like the old Champus program. No enrolling, no annual fee. I do pay an annual deductable and 25% of the bill a la "regular insurance"

I retired healthy as a horse but within a few years came down with all manner of medical problems, so I have been to many doctors, and hospitals, and had lots and lots of expensive stuff done to me. No problem with Tricare. None at all. They're the "good hands" people
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Re: Who can fill me in on Tricare?
Old 07-24-2004, 09:49 PM   #4
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Re: Who can fill me in on Tricare?

I just had a nasty experience with Tricare, but it was as a doctor, not as a patient. And it's no different from any other health insurance company's lying, conniving, practice-busting methods.

My patient, however, has excellent benefits, pays no $ copay (he is on active duty), and gets excellent psychological services despite the fact that his evil insurance company is paying 60% of what I was told they would pay.

Really, this little rant has nothing to do with Tricare. Don't mind me. I'm usually not so sarcastic and grumpy.

Good thing I only see a handful of clients in therapy any more. Most of my work comes from more lucrative court evaluations, no insurance companies involved. Uh oh, I could be headed for a lawyer rant, better quit now. . .

Anne
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Re: Who can fill me in on Tricare?
Old 07-25-2004, 06:12 AM   #5
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Re: Who can fill me in on Tricare?

I am on AD and my family knows the ins and outs of tricare extensively. We are on Tricare Prime but I have always thought if it became to restrictive I would go back to Standard.

During the first year of my oldest son's life we had over 100 doctor appts. Most in the network with specialist.
At 6 months of age he recieved a heart transplant. That was 5.5 years ago. We still have a rigorous follow up program and Tricare is there all the way.

I get a copy of what they pay and it is pennys on the dollar with the exception of his actual transplant. There they actually paid a lot more. I think they set prices at the beginning of the year. Our overall experience has been great. Of course we really have done our homework and understand the system.

As for our son he is doing wonderful. We are very blessed. In fact we are leaving for the U.S. Transplant Olympics this week. This will be his third time competing as an athelete. So like many on this group I need to hurry up and retire so I can focue on the truly important things in life.
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Re: Who can fill me in on Tricare?
Old 07-25-2004, 08:43 AM   #6
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Re: Who can fill me in on Tricare?

Tom, What a year you must have had with that baby! My heart goes out to you all. How wonderful to hear that he is healthy and running and all is well!

Health care coverage is something we just can't take for granted; you never know when life will throw you such a curve ball.

Anne
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Re: Who can fill me in on Tricare?
Old 07-25-2004, 09:49 AM   #7
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Re: Who can fill me in on Tricare?

Yes the first year was very exciting to say the least. I am very thankful we have good insurance and I have had and continue to have bosses that allow me to do the things I need to do when it comes to his care. I think there is great loyalty on both sides.

Thankfully my wife and will not have to be to concerned about healthcare. As for my son, he will be covered until 23 (assuming he goes to college). Meds are about 3-4K per year, currently covered by Uncle Sam. But no worries that is a bill that I will be able to cover when the time comes. It is a small price to pay in the grand scheme of things.

JDW
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Re: Who can fill me in on Tricare?
Old 07-25-2004, 01:18 PM   #8
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Re: Who can fill me in on Tricare?

Quote:
It is a small price to pay in the grand scheme of things.
Amen to that! Sometimes life offers a wake-up call which, if we are fortunate enough to hear it, can change the course of our lives for the better.

Anne
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