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Old 09-11-2009, 04:18 PM
 
Location: Here
704 posts, read 1,578,408 times
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I'm a civilian and have been hearing a lot of people talk about the healthcare coverage that military personel and veterans and their families recieve.

Could someone wwith some experience with these systems please explain to me how they work. I'm interested in both active duty and Veterans services.

What's available, what are your costs, and what are satisfaction level like? Thanks!
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Old 09-11-2009, 04:56 PM
 
Location: AZ
1,046 posts, read 3,015,776 times
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Well, The Government owns the the hospitals and clinics all equipped with the best equipment that money can buy. They also pay the salaries of everyone that works in them. I think that we should use free market to care for our military. Socialism at it's worst.
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Old 09-11-2009, 05:15 PM
 
Location: New Mexico U.S.A.
24,157 posts, read 38,951,247 times
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I have been using military medical services since 1968. I am retired military with 22 years active duty. I retired in 1990 and have used "TriCare Prime". We pay about $400 per year for our family, just two of us. Since 1990 we used military hospitals for about 15 years, the remainder civilian hospitals and doctors with mixtures in there. Our co-pay is $12 but we don't pay every visit or when using a military facility. Most of our prescriptions are free (from the military facility), then there is a small co-pay. Same while active duty (mixed military and civilian). Mixed experiences over that period. Overall, satisfied. There are countless experiences.

Here is a web page that covers it pretty well: TRICARE - Military Health Care - Military Benefits - Military.com


Rich
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Old 09-11-2009, 05:33 PM
 
Location: Sierra Vista, AZ
16,116 posts, read 20,169,281 times
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I have been using the Veterans Administration since 1988 and, depending on your location, it is a fine system. Out here at the end of the line there can be delays but in most urban areas the facilities are pretty good. Over the years the VA has had to make a complete about face because of Iraq and Afghanistan. The World War II vets were dieing and a horrenous rate and they were the massive majority of patients and Korea was only five years later. Plans were to close the VA down and issue a card for coverage until these last three actions. Now the trend is for expansion. Because I am 100% the VA pays all of my drugs and provides Dental, which can be tricky in some locations.

As for TriCare I'm on TriCare for Life which requires I be on Medicare Part B which I pay rather than Premiums to TriCare. So if I need private care, an emergency room visit etc. Medicare pays 80% and Tricare pays the remainder as a Medicare suppliment.
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Old 09-11-2009, 07:32 PM
 
Location: Columbia, SC
519 posts, read 1,827,371 times
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I am the wife of an active duty service member. I pay nothing for my medical care. If I get my prescriptions filled on post, I pay nothing. It's a $3 copay for a generic, one month supply RX filled at a retail pharmacy, $9 for brand named. An annual eye exam is covered, but we are on our own for eyeglasses/contacts. The dental is pretty much the same as most civilian dental plans - preventative is covered at 100%, fillings etc 80% and major work (I think) 30%-50% dependant on rank and subject to a $1200 per year limit.
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Old 09-11-2009, 08:08 PM
 
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We use Tricare Prime and for what we pay ($0) the coverage is great. Prime is HMO-style care, where you have a primary care manager that is your gatekeeper for access to referrrals. The major difference I see between this and a non-military large HMO is that generally you are assigned to a military doctor on base instead of being able to pick any primary care doctor that accepts your insurance. We live far enough away that my kids can see a pediatrician off-base. Other than that, besides access to military treatment facilities, it seems to me to be pretty much like belonging to a huge HMO.

I know people who elect a different level of Tricare (there is a mid-level) where you have a little more freedom to choose providers but you also have a cost-share so while the monthly coverage is free, you will pay some out of pocket for care.

There is a third level of Tricare which is like the old-school insurance - you pick your provider and your cost-share is the highest of the three.

Tricare, while broken down into regions, is still a huge insurance network, and being such, has the same qualities of other large companies: sometimes there are problems with claims getting paid, sometimes its hard to get a person on the phone for a straight answer (but we also have local walk-in centers that are very helpful), and it is a bit of a hassle to get through the referral process.

I think the coverage is pretty good for what our family has needed it for, and having the DoD foot the bill for the monthly premiums is an enormous benefit. I would think this kind of coverage as group coverage could run anywhere from $400 to $1200 per month if we had to pay for it ourselves. (I gave a broad range b/c its been so long since I had to pay for hlth insurance that I am not sure how much it costs anymore).
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Old 09-11-2009, 10:08 PM
 
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On active duty, all medical care is taken care of for me and my family. We have no complaints.
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Old 09-12-2009, 05:58 PM
 
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I use the VA health care system and have gone to Mexico twice already for healthcare and have ordered my meds from overseas.

I've found it's just best to be on death's door and go to a civilian ER than to try to go to the VA for normal care.
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Old 09-12-2009, 05:59 PM
 
1,492 posts, read 6,783,131 times
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I've witnessed- in my VISN which is the area covered by my VA region....the employees tend to show up for work for a paycheck and don't want to work. You should see all the workers walking the halls, popping into other peoples offices to 'chat' or talking on their cell phones- all while Veterans are waiting.
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Old 09-14-2009, 09:59 AM
 
484 posts, read 1,047,713 times
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Default Meets the needs

I've received both active duty Army health care and VA. Both systems meet the needs...basic needs. It's better than a free clinic but not by much. If there is ever an argument against government-run health care, a person needs to look no further than the military. Your care consists of the least amount necessary to keep you functioning. The doctors are okay but they are no Sanjay Gupta. Anything not completely routine and common will be referred out to a civilian facility.
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