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Old 02-17-2014, 08:19 AM
 
Location: all over, move a lot...
52 posts, read 141,729 times
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We are a few years out from my wife retiring from the military. How does it work for receiving medical care for my wife who is active duty and myself who is a dependent? We will be 47 years old. We will only have the military retirement plan insurance.

Do we have to be near a base or VA hospital or can we see any DR. as long as they accept the insurance?

How easy is it to find a Dr. away from a military base that accepts our insurance?

Is it still Tricare?

A couple of the locations we are looking at: North of Cookeville, TN and north of Knoxville, TN

Thanks for any help
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Old 02-17-2014, 09:07 AM
 
Location: New Mexico U.S.A.
24,130 posts, read 38,871,775 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjwassink67 View Post
We are a few years out from my wife retiring from the military. How does it work for receiving medical care for my wife who is active duty and myself who is a dependent? We will be 47 years old. We will only have the military retirement plan insurance.

Do we have to be near a base or VA hospital or can we see any DR. as long as they accept the insurance?

How easy is it to find a Dr. away from a military base that accepts our insurance?

Is it still Tricare?

A couple of the locations we are looking at: North of Cookeville, TN and north of Knoxville, TN

Thanks for any help
I retired in 1990... Been using Tricare Prime, I guess since it came out (Champus before that?)

For a while we used a local Air Force hospital with great success, most of our treatment was referred to civilian doctors. Got prescriptions right there. With Air Force shortages about 5 years ago, we had to go with civilian care, so we have a good civilian hospital, no problems. We had no problems finding a hospital which accepted Tricare. There are co-pays for visits.

All we have and use is our "military retirement plan insurance"

I just went on Medicare, so they are primary insurance, Tricare Prime is secondary. To be honest, my wife has been handling it all very well.

We don't really use the VA system. I think I got a flu shot once and we went to a minor emergency clinic once and they were the nearest.

We have not really had any problems finding civilian health care here.

Dental, we end up paying dental out of pocket.

Prescriptions, our local family doctor at the local hospital writes 90 day prescriptions which are handled by "express scripts" they get shipped in the mail/ups/fedex. Or local if needed that day.
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Old 02-17-2014, 09:37 AM
 
Location: all over, move a lot...
52 posts, read 141,729 times
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I didn't think about dental. The military doesn't cover dental in retirement?

Ok, so it sounds medical isn't a concern in retirement. Just go to a private Dr. anywhere that Tricare is accepted.
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Old 02-17-2014, 09:52 AM
 
Location: New Mexico U.S.A.
24,130 posts, read 38,871,775 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjwassink67 View Post
I didn't think about dental. The military doesn't cover dental in retirement?

Ok, so it sounds medical isn't a concern in retirement. Just go to a private Dr. anywhere that Tricare is accepted.
The military never really covered dental except for certain cases. It was on a space available situation. Being overseas was better, when we were in Germany there was a phrase, "we extended our tour because Johny needed braces..."

There is a "TRICARE Retiree Dental Program", we never used it, seemed a bit expensive: TRICARE Retiree Dental Program
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Old 02-17-2014, 10:57 AM
 
5,538 posts, read 4,378,162 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjwassink67 View Post
We are a few years out from my wife retiring from the military. How does it work for receiving medical care for my wife who is active duty and myself who is a dependent? We will be 47 years old. We will only have the military retirement plan insurance.

Do we have to be near a base or VA hospital or can we see any DR. as long as they accept the insurance?

How easy is it to find a Dr. away from a military base that accepts our insurance?

Is it still Tricare?

A couple of the locations we are looking at: North of Cookeville, TN and north of Knoxville, TN

Thanks for any help
I have Tricare Prime and also use the VA in San Antonio. I tried the military clinic as my primary provider under Tricare and it just didn't work out, so went local.

Check out the Tricare website because there were some changes a few months ago and some people were kicked off Tricare Prime and placed on Tricare Standard, or something like that:

Current Topics - Changes to Prime Service Areas

You can get dental coverage through Delta Dental. Believe they just started this for retirees. Also if your wife does the VA screening for disability and by some chance she has a pre-existing dental condition and is granted a disability rating for that, the VA will take care of her dental, if there is a clinic nearby. I have TMJ, so my dental is covered by the VA.
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Old 02-18-2014, 09:53 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
29,722 posts, read 47,483,706 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjwassink67 View Post
We are a few years out from my wife retiring from the military. How does it work for receiving medical care for my wife who is active duty and myself who is a dependent? We will be 47 years old. We will only have the military retirement plan insurance.
While on Active Duty she will still be treated on-base, as always.



Quote:
... Do we have to be near a base or VA hospital or can we see any DR. as long as they accept the insurance?

How easy is it to find a Dr. away from a military base that accepts our insurance?
On-base medical is focused primarily on Active Duty personnel. Us retirees are back of the bus.

VA is great for the vets. The Vet community needs the VA, for vets it is all they have.

But for us retirees, there is no earthly reason to mess with the VA. In my region every doctor and every hospital takes Tricare.

It has been a joy, we can call any clinic for an appointment and we get right in.

My PCP will sometimes give me a referral to some specialist. But those are the specialists within the PCP's network. For whatever reason trying to get those appointments will routinely take 6 weeks or more. But at the same time, if I random call specialist clinics and ask if they take Tricare, I get appointments within a few days.

The biggest 'problem' may be that a given PCP may be restricted to function within a network. But I am not restricted within that same network. I can call any specialist and I get right in.

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Old 02-18-2014, 06:26 PM
 
Location: all over, move a lot...
52 posts, read 141,729 times
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Great information everyone!!! Thank you for all the advice and help.
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Old 02-24-2014, 09:47 AM
 
Location: Maryland
1,667 posts, read 8,151,116 times
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I married after retirement and my wife is still fully covered with Tricare. I love it. We don't pay the extra for dental or vision as it does seem a bit expensive, but the regular health insurance is great. If I didn't have it, I'd be uninsured. It wasn't free. I proudly served, as all military veterans have, and consider it "bought and paid for" in advance. Thank you, active duty, veterans, and dependents for your service!
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Old 02-24-2014, 12:11 PM
 
309 posts, read 358,693 times
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Retirees have the option of using Tricare Prime (pretty much the same as when you are active duty) with a monthly fee or Tricare Standard (no fee, annual $150 per person/$300 family deductible then you pay 20% of what Tricare doesn't cover with catastrophic caps). No referrals are required for Tricare Standard; if you want to see a specialist and they accept Tricare you just go. There are also Tricare supplement plans you can buy that cover some costs of Tricare Standard. There is no Tricare vision coverage unless you are diabetic.

When my husband retired we went with Tricare Prime - until we couldn't find a civilian doctor (there was no room at the base clinics for retirees or their dependents) in our new location who would accept new Tricare Prime patients. Since we switched to Standard we haven't had any trouble finding doctors. Once my husband's disability rating came in from the VA (at 80%) he qualified for full VA medical care so he only uses Tricare for Urgent Care or ER visits now.

There is also a Tricare Retiree dental plan through Delta Dental available at a great price. (We pay $119 for the whole family and it includes orthodontic coverage for the kids and pays 100% for preventive services.)
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Old 02-25-2014, 06:14 PM
 
4,159 posts, read 4,193,081 times
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Plan on getting a job and hopefully they will offer you medical insurance. I have TRICARE Prime but I went to standard this year because I thought I was going to loose Prime. But, I was wrong so I will sign back up for Prime.

Moderator cut: Announcement: This forum is not to be used for political arguments. Use Politics and Other Controversies forum instead.

The handwriting is on the wall. TRICARE will be there, but a lot of doctors don't like it so if you stick with TRICARE don't move to an area with few doctors that accept it. Also, the DoD has been pushing for more than a decade that retired military pay much much more for TRICARE so be ready to pay up!!!

Good luck in your next career and tks for standing the watch.

Last edited by Poncho_NM; 02-25-2014 at 06:44 PM..
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