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Tricare Prime gone??
Old 11-12-2012, 04:23 PM   #1
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Tricare Prime gone??

Just got this from the MOAA site. I am going on Tricare this February and now it appears things have changed considerably.

Veterans Report - 171K May Soon Lose TRICARE Prime
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Old 11-12-2012, 04:37 PM   #2
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The article indicates DoD plans to drop TRICARE Prime for those who live more than 40 miles from a military treatment facility.

From the more detailed article by Tom Philpot:
Quote:
Many may find it disturbing that Defense officials delayed announcing this TRICARE change until after the election out of concern that it could be used by politicians.
Gee, you think folks might get bent out of shape by yet another "this can wait until after the election" dropped shoe?

Despite denials in the article, this sounds like another attempt by DoD to squeeze money from Congress. Under the present circumstances, I don't think it will work.

My guess is that the ultimate roadmap calls for putting all DoD retirees into the health care exchanges with some sort of DoD subsidy to augment the low-income subsidy provided under PPACA. If nothing else, it will help build numbers and show how "popular" the exchanges are.

Happy Veteran's Day.
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Old 11-12-2012, 04:48 PM   #3
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The article references another, which states
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These changes have been in the works for some time. In fact, the new TRICARE support contracts were originally drafted in 2007 (during the Bush administration). These contracts were designed to reduce the cost of providing health care to military retirees by constricting Prime service areas.

Philpott reports that “Congress is not expected to block this long-standing plan to tighten access to Prime if the intent is to hold down costs. Doing so likely would require lawmakers to find equivalent budget savings elsewhere.”


Read more: http://militaryadvantage.military.co...#ixzz2C3FcG8pT
MilitaryAdvantage.Military.com
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Old 11-12-2012, 05:11 PM   #4
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I wonder how officials will confirm the address of retirees? I'm sure people are supposed to change their registrations in DEERs when they move, but I'm sure people forget. Maybe someday DoD will reverse course and >>require<< retirees to receive their checks by snailmail to an actual address.

The preservation of TRICARE Prime for retirees inside the 40 mile catchment areas is just a temporary measure.
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Old 11-13-2012, 10:56 AM   #5
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Since I am new to Tricare, it seems that cutting Prime for those "outside" 40 miles is just screwing them. So am I supposed to drive 180 miles to a "base" now?
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Old 11-13-2012, 11:32 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by dtbach View Post
Since I am new to Tricare, it seems that cutting Prime for those "outside" 40 miles is just screwing them. So am I supposed to drive 180 miles to a "base" now?

How far are you from Fort McCoy? And from Great Lakes Naval Base? I lived in Janesville for a year and it didn't seem like it was that far to GLNB. Maybe you're figuring the round trip, though. I'm with samclem, don't think it'll work out.
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Old 11-13-2012, 11:40 AM   #7
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I live in Madison, Wi. We have a VA hospital here but I don't know if that is where Tricare folks are supposed to go. Guess I need to look into that.
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Old 11-13-2012, 12:33 PM   #8
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I live in Madison, Wi. We have a VA hospital here but I don't know if that is where Tricare folks are supposed to go. Guess I need to look into that.
Check into it, but I think TRICARE and the VA system are separate. Maybe there's a way for the VA to accept payments from TRICARE (just as any other provider can), but I doubt you can get anything like TRICARE Prime through the VA.
Now, if you qualify for VA care, that could be another approach to pursue. Folks who qualify for VA care tend to be vets with service-connected medical issues and those who are low income. Some folks speak well of the care they receive, others tell horror stories. I think there's a general consensus that it has gotten better over the last decade.
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Old 11-13-2012, 01:04 PM   #9
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I guess I will find out soon enough. I was always under the assumption that I could just enroll in one of the many HMO's around here. I'm at least 100 miles away from any major base.
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Old 11-14-2012, 08:56 PM   #10
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I don't think retirees can use VA facilities unless they have a service connected disability.

Tricare Prime has been difficult to justify for those of us that live some distance from a military facility. The new law will just validate this factor. What I have found is that the Prime providers are all clustered around large bases. If you live far from those bases, it's impractical to enroll in Prime. Best solution is Tricare Standard with a private supplement. I don't think this law will affect many retirees. Maybe there are some who have been driving several hours to a Prime provider, I don't know.
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Old 11-14-2012, 09:22 PM   #11
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I don't think this law will affect many retirees. Maybe there are some who have been driving several hours to a Prime provider, I don't know.
It's DoD's estimate that 171,000 folks will be pushed off Tricare Prime. Tricare serves about 5.5 million DoD retirees, so this change affects about 3 percent of them.
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Old 11-15-2012, 06:34 AM   #12
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I'm new to this so guess I am confused. I thought that Prime was set up to get those who live far away from a base to get into an HMO.

I will look into the supplemental insurance ideas. I belong to ROA and I think they have this type of insurance.
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Old 11-15-2012, 05:59 PM   #13
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I'm new to this so guess I am confused. I thought that Prime was set up to get those who live far away from a base to get into an HMO.

I will look into the supplemental insurance ideas. I belong to ROA and I think they have this type of insurance.
Go to the Tricare site and see if there's a Prime provider close to you. I've never had any luck with it. I think Prime was primarily set up for active duty dependents, so the military healthcare facilities wouldn't have to deal with them. Being that active duty dependents, likely outnumber retirees, the providers are located in the areas with the highest concentration of dependents. Retirees were an after thought.
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