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Healthcare Options

JTS11

Well-Known Member
pilot
Contributor
Alright, I'll kick this off. Because I'm generally ignorant on this shit.

Have any of you fellow retirees enrolled in TriCare Standard vice Tricare Prime? What are your thoughts on pros/cons of each? I did Prime, but curious as to others knowledges.

If you live near a military medical facility, would you use their services for basic stuff? Or, is it easier dealing with civilian networks out in town?

Anyone use the TriCare dental insurance? If not, any better options? Or, just pay as you go?
 

Gatordev

Well-Known Member
pilot
Site Admin
Contributor
I think it's called Select now, but whatever it's called, I did that instead of going to a MTF. It took me 5 months to get diagnosed with an issue, literally 2 days before I retired. I was more than ready to go out in town, where I could get an appointment and treatment within 7-10 days.
 

Pags

Pope of Chili Town
pilot
I'm not retired and don't have Tricare but there's no way you'd ever convince me to go back to an MTF. I don't care how free it is. In town care is SO MUCH better than it's absurd. Even a random doc in a box in my tiny town is better than any MTF.
 

robav8r

Future performance not guaranteed . . .
None
Contributor
The new Dental Program (FEDVIP) is a lot better than Delta Dental was in the past. It's the same plan for all federal service retirees, and cheaper. If you think you are going to bounce around jobs a bit. you can get your Tricare supplemental through MOAA. Not the best plan, but it works. My current employer is through Selman & Co. Good customer service and covers all the co-pays. I stay away from the base services, many make it hard to get service as a retiree, and finding a local doctor and associated services is just easier out in town.
 

exNavyOffRec

Well-Known Member
2 of my kids and myself are on Tricare prime, my wife and my other kid are on Tricare standard, I will probably be going to standard as well since the doctor my family has seen for 20 years no longer takes prime, the other doctors that are with a 30 minute drive of me that take prime have a wait time of 3 weeks, when I was looking around I asked what do I do if I am sick, the response for all is call us, we document that you called and no appointments available, then you go to urgent care or the ER if urgent care isn't available. There are some people that this might be an issue for, however a few years ago my wife tore tendons in her thumb, if we had to do the wait 3 weeks, then see a specialist the doc said her thumb would have been permanently damaged.

I do have FEDVIP dental and that combined with my dental from my civilian job means I don't pay anything at all, it is pretty good deal.
 

HAL Pilot

Well-Known Member
None
Contributor
I have prime as my secondary insurance. My primary is through the airline (by law, Tricare is always the secondary medical insurance.)

I use prime instead of standard for the convenience. With prime as secondary, you never need referrals. If your primary covers it, prime covers it. PmEven better, with prime your doctor can always submit a claim even if not a prime provider. With standard as secondary, if your doctor is not a standard provider, you have to pay then submit a claim yourself and hope standard covers it.

Edit: At least that was how it worked in 2008 when I signed up for prime. Still works that way for prime but standard could have changed. I’ve never checked.
 
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exNavyOffRec

Well-Known Member
I have prime as my secondary insurance. My primary is through the airline (by law, Tricare is always the secondary medical insurance.)

I use prime instead of standard for the convenience. With prime as secondary, you never need referrals. If your primary covers it, prime covers it. PmEven better, with prime your doctor can always submit a claim even if not a prime provider. With standard as secondary, if your doctor is not a standard provider, you have to pay then submit a claim yourself and hope standard covers it.

Edit: At least that was how it worked in 2008 when I signed up for prime. Still works that way for prime but standard could have changed. I’ve never checked.
It has changed, with standard or prime we haven't had to pay anything upfront.

I don't have insurance through my civilian as it just wasn't worth it for me, so we just have prime and standard. If I have an issue and I need to see a specialist I have to have a referral from my PCM, then once that is approved the specialist calls me and schedules and appointment. If my wife who is on standard has an issue and needs to see a specialist, she picks up the phone and calls the specialist directly for an appointment.

Standard can have some additional cost however we have saved money so far with 2 of the family on standard, I would indeed prefer to stay on prime for the entire family, however every time I have something I need to be seen for I don't want to go to urgent care or the ER, I want to see a doctor that is familiar with me.

FEDVIP in conjunction with civilian work dental is weird, the primary is whoever the person has had longest.
 

JTS11

Well-Known Member
pilot
Contributor
It has changed, with standard or prime we haven't had to pay anything upfront.

I don't have insurance through my civilian as it just wasn't worth it for me, so we just have prime and standard. If I have an issue and I need to see a specialist I have to have a referral from my PCM, then once that is approved the specialist calls me and schedules and appointment. If my wife who is on standard has an issue and needs to see a specialist, she picks up the phone and calls the specialist directly for an appointment.

Standard can have some additional cost however we have saved money so far with 2 of the family on standard, I would indeed prefer to stay on prime for the entire family, however every time I have something I need to be seen for I don't want to go to urgent care or the ER, I want to see a doctor that is familiar with me.

FEDVIP in conjunction with civilian work dental is weird, the primary is whoever the person has had longest.
That's good gouge I was curious about how this worked in practice with the PCM being the gatekeeper to your healthcare. I guess I need to figure out how to contact them (or have it on record), to go to Urgent Care if the situation warrants.

Or, go to Standard (Select), if you want more flexibility

Thanks for the info.
 

exNavyOffRec

Well-Known Member
That's good gouge I was curious about how this worked in practice with the PCM being the gatekeeper to your healthcare. I guess I need to figure out how to contact them (or have it on record), to go to Urgent Care if the situation warrants.

Or, go to Standard (Select), if you want more flexibility

Thanks for the info.
I would recommend talking to the doc you would like to have as your PCM to see if you call up because you are sick what the wait would be, in some areas my experience with prime could be the same with standard, it all depends upon the office.
 

zippy

Freedom!
pilot
Contributor
Even a random doc in a box in my tiny town is better than any MTF.
Having gone to residency helps... a lot...

70% of Navy docs haven’t gone to residency by the they’re practicing at their first MTF. Those looking to get more experience work second Jobs at urgent cares out in town.
 

AllAmerican75

Running the IT Help Desk
None
Contributor
Having gone to residency helps... a lot...

70% of Navy docs haven’t gone to residency by the they’re practicing at their first MTF. Those looking to get more experience work second Jobs at urgent cares out in town.
I thought that was a requirement for becoming a doctor. Like, no residency, no MD beside your name, kind of requirement.
 

Pags

Pope of Chili Town
pilot
I thought that was a requirement for becoming a doctor. Like, no residency, no MD beside your name, kind of requirement.
Nope, residents are Doctors. They're just Doctors in training. Easiest analogy for this crowd is that an FRS student; they have wings but they're not qualified to do anything really useful yet.

A lot of the first tour docs come straight from med school and working as a Flight Doc or in an MTF is part of their military "residency." Many of them then go on to other more specialized fields following their Squadron/MTF tour.
 

exNavyOffRec

Well-Known Member
Nope, residents are Doctors. They're just Doctors in training. Easiest analogy for this crowd is that an FRS student; they have wings but they're not qualified to do anything really useful yet.

A lot of the first tour docs come straight from med school and working as a Flight Doc or in an MTF is part of their military "residency." Many of them then go on to other more specialized fields following their Squadron/MTF tour.
I assisted with medical recruiting since they were short handed, the presentations I was in said there were a few paths, a person could go to the fleet after passing all their licensing test as a General Med Officer, or they could go to residency then to the fleet. I didn't know what a General Med Officer was before going to recruiting, I always wondered what "GMO" was as 1 or 2 of the officers in Medical Department underneath their picture and name would have "GMO".
 

zippy

Freedom!
pilot
Contributor
I thought that was a requirement for becoming a doctor. Like, no residency, no MD beside your name, kind of requirement.
Nope. You get the DO/MD after you complete your 4th year of medical school and graduate (think advanced flight training). Residency is basically the FRS.

Navy Medical school scholarship program (HPSP) send most applicants through ODS, a 1 year non residency OJT course at a Naval medical center then to the fleet to give out Motrin as a GMO. They can apply for deferment to attend civilian residency but they’re not granted often, if at all. A lucky 30% or so get a slot in a Navy residency program at a major fleet contraction point. Navy docs do get the opportunity to go to a service residency, it’s after their initial commitment and GMO tour and tacks on another year commitment for each year of residency. Or they can get out after their medical school scholarship commitment is up and try to go to a civilian residency. The Navy also happily takes civilian doctors who apply post residency.
 

exNavyOffRec

Well-Known Member
Nope. You get the DO/MD after you complete your 4th year of medical school and graduate (think advanced flight training). Residency is basically the FRS.

Navy Medical school scholarship program (HPSP) send most applicants through ODS, a 1 year non residency OJT course at a Naval medical center then to the fleet to give out Motrin as a GMO. They can apply for deferment to attend civilian residency but they’re not granted often, if at all. A lucky 30% or so get a slot in a Navy residency program at a major fleet contraction point. Navy docs do get the opportunity to go to a service residency, it’s after their initial commitment and GMO tour and tacks on another year commitment for each year of residency. Or they can get out after their medical school scholarship commitment is up and try to go to a civilian residency. The Navy also happily takes civilian doctors who apply post residency.
That would explain the variety, those that were going into HPSP or HSCP would more likely go to the fleet as a GMO, the ones that were recruited outside of those programs I remember seem to have had mostly done their residencies.
 
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