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Tricare Cuts?!

Has anyone else heard about this.... CLICKY

 

CN: 

The Obama administration?s proposed defense budget calls for military families and retirees to pay sharply more for their healthcare, while leaving unionized civilian defense workers? benefits untouched. The proposal is causing a major rift within the Pentagon, according to U.S. officials. Several congressional aides suggested the move is designed to increase the enrollment in Obamacare?s state-run insurance exchanges.

Re: Tricare Cuts?!

  • I'm still processing the entire article in my head, but it makes me very angry that they would target TriCare to decrease the defense budget. I just can't see the logic when the civilian counterpart is left untouched.

     This is not to say that my H and I haven't seen our fair share of waste in the Military but mostly with silly new high def signs around base not healthcare. C'mon!

  • First of all, that source is really the equivalent of a tabloid, so I'd prefer to see something from a reputable, less biased source. 

    And second, honestly, I have no problem paying for Tricare. We are incredibly lucky to have the healthcare that we do, for no cost. The average civilian families healthcare costs are near $20,000 per year. So I'm certainly not going to complain if we have to start paying a few bucks a month. Although, I really don't see that happening any time soon. 

  • I only really scanned the article to see if it was clear how the proposal would affect me. I really can't tell. Premiums could increase 30-78%. Okay, what's 30-78% times $0 that I pay for Tricare Prime? I've mentioned it here before that I think my benefits as a dependent are up in re-gosh-darn-diculous territory.

    It's probably easier to calculate for people on Standard or Remote or who are paying out of pocket for a service and have some actual numbers to go by.

    That said, I can't imagine why they would do all that and then leave the civilian component untouched. That makes not a bit of sense.

    Edit: I read it again and saw that they meant "unionized" civilian employees. Well that's why. Standard operating procedure with unions is that benefits don't really change just because the President said so. Benefits are written into their contract most likely and would need to be renegotiated the next time the contract is up. There's no telling what agreement they'd come up with.

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  • I'm sorry I'm new to all of this (just enrolled in Tricare and DEERS a week ago!) so forgive me for being a little slow...but, would it just affect just the standard? I know we have prime and dont pay out of pocket except for emergencies..or would we just have to start paying monthly/yearly like a civilian healthcare plan?
  • I've read a few more sources and it looks like the proposal only affects retirees. They currently pay, I think around $500 per year for Tricare. That is still WAY less than their civilian counterparts. Having worked in healthcare my entire adult life, I seriously feel like completely free health insurance is practically stealing from the government. I'm grateful for a lot of things in the military, but healthcare is number one. I have no problem paying for it if I'm ever asked to. 
  • image Killer Cupcake:

    image *Krista*:
    I've read a few more sources and it looks like the proposal only affects retirees. They currently pay, I think around $500 per year for Tricare. That is still WAY less than their civilian counterparts. Having worked in healthcare my entire adult life, I seriously feel like completely free health insurance is practically stealing from the government. I'm grateful for a lot of things in the military, but healthcare is number one. I have no problem paying for it if I'm ever asked to. 

    Agreed.

    I feel like if we need to pick up the slack somewhere, I would rather it be in places like this where it's only a few dollars more out of our pockets a month instead of kicking people out or cutting money for equipment.  

    or cutting retirement. Now that is one thing I do get worked up about. A proposal suggested last year would have had my husband losing out on 3/4 of a million dollars over the course of his retirement/lifetime. I really don't see that happening, and I'm sure current servicemembers will be grandfathered if the retirement system changes, but I still have moments of hyperventilating when I think about what we could lose!

  • image *Krista*:
    I've read a few more sources and it looks like the proposal only affects retirees. They currently pay, I think around $500 per year for Tricare. That is still WAY less than their civilian counterparts. Having worked in healthcare my entire adult life, I seriously feel like completely free health insurance is practically stealing from the government. I'm grateful for a lot of things in the military, but healthcare is number one. I have no problem paying for it if I'm ever asked to. 

    Exactly. As a user of civilian insurance, I paid almost that much for a few hours in the emergency room after an asthma attack. It's bullshit, but reality. I don't know, I hate to be contrary or sound...ungrateful but cheapass insurance is still amazing, even if it's not zero.

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  • Even though we pay for TRS it's still so much better (cost and coverage) than civilian healthcare prices. We will have civilian insurance soon then go back to TRS and I don't look forward to paying $400 a month along with high deductibles and high copays but it beats paying the average that Sibil gave of $1,666 a month. 0_0
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  • image *Krista*:

    First of all, that source is really the equivalent of a tabloid, so I'd prefer to see something from a reputable, less biased source. 

    And second, honestly, I have no problem paying for Tricare. We are incredibly lucky to have the healthcare that we do, for no cost. The average civilian families healthcare costs are near $20,000 per year. So I'm certainly not going to complain if we have to start paying a few bucks a month. Although, I really don't see that happening any time soon. 

    Agreed 

    I've seen a lot of military surprise homecomings. It wouldn't work on me. I always have my back to the corner and my face to the door. Looking for terrorists, criminals, various other threats, and husbands.
  • image *Krista*:
    image Killer Cupcake:

    image *Krista*:
    I've read a few more sources and it looks like the proposal only affects retirees. They currently pay, I think around $500 per year for Tricare. That is still WAY less than their civilian counterparts. Having worked in healthcare my entire adult life, I seriously feel like completely free health insurance is practically stealing from the government. I'm grateful for a lot of things in the military, but healthcare is number one. I have no problem paying for it if I'm ever asked to. 

    Agreed.

    I feel like if we need to pick up the slack somewhere, I would rather it be in places like this where it's only a few dollars more out of our pockets a month instead of kicking people out or cutting money for equipment.  

    or cutting retirement. Now that is one thing I do get worked up about. A proposal suggested last year would have had my husband losing out on 3/4 of a million dollars over the course of his retirement/lifetime. I really don't see that happening, and I'm sure current servicemembers will be grandfathered if the retirement system changes, but I still have moments of hyperventilating when I think about what we could lose!

    Agreed some more. I'd be down and able to provide alternate retirement for myself, but to break the pension promise for current members would be wrong.  

    I've seen a lot of military surprise homecomings. It wouldn't work on me. I always have my back to the corner and my face to the door. Looking for terrorists, criminals, various other threats, and husbands.
  • image WishIcouldbeinthe'stan:
    image *Krista*:
    image Killer Cupcake:

    image *Krista*:
    I've read a few more sources and it looks like the proposal only affects retirees. They currently pay, I think around $500 per year for Tricare. That is still WAY less than their civilian counterparts. Having worked in healthcare my entire adult life, I seriously feel like completely free health insurance is practically stealing from the government. I'm grateful for a lot of things in the military, but healthcare is number one. I have no problem paying for it if I'm ever asked to. 

    Agreed.

    I feel like if we need to pick up the slack somewhere, I would rather it be in places like this where it's only a few dollars more out of our pockets a month instead of kicking people out or cutting money for equipment.  

    or cutting retirement. Now that is one thing I do get worked up about. A proposal suggested last year would have had my husband losing out on 3/4 of a million dollars over the course of his retirement/lifetime. I really don't see that happening, and I'm sure current servicemembers will be grandfathered if the retirement system changes, but I still have moments of hyperventilating when I think about what we could lose!

    Agreed some more. I'd be down and able to provide alternate retirement for myself, but to break the pension promise for current members would be wrong.  

    Agree with all of you. Since I don't have a new job yet and we'll lose Tricare when my orders stop, we signed up for H's civilian insurance at his new job. A) It was a super headache b/c I was clueless and there were 5,000 options B) It's expensive! And it's just us!

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  • I'm apparently a bit wacky when it comes to opinions on health care, having grown up in a country with socialized medicine...  (seriously, it's very cool...  low costs, and you never have to worry about going bankrupt because you can't pay your medical bills...)

    So, you can imagine how freaking confused by privatized health care I was when I first moved to the US.  HMO/PPO/Co-pays/etc all had me confuzzled.  I eventually figured out what was going on, and was lucky to be with an employer that had pretty good health coverage, but when I first signed up I felt so blind and confused.

     

    Since marrying DH, and moving to Tricare (I've since shifted to P/T work, and am no longer eligible for insurance thru my employer), it's been a lot simpler for me.  I don't have to figure out the costs - we're on Prime, and there are few things to worry about, other than getting sick when I'm not in the US.

    Tricare Prime (other than it's limited localities) feels a lot like the socialized coverage I had growing up.  It's got more of a bureaucracy built in (yep, that's right - more paperwork and other crap with Tricare than with my old government provided nationalized health program), but it's similar in that there are few worries other than occassionally having to push for particular health checks and having to be my own advocate.

     

    One thing that I have noticed, lately, with Tricare, is that there is crap-all for preventative health programs.  Particularly for spouses.  It's like pulling teeth to just get a general annual health check up, so you can figure out if, maybe, your cholesterol is high, and you need to take measures to prevent it getting worse, or if you are showing signs of being pre-diabetic, etc.  I can't even properly schedule that type of appointment thru Tricare, because they literally don't know what I'm asking for.  A wellness checkup.  Babies get them, why not 30-something women?  It's an age where we do need to start paying attention to these things.  Bone density, cholesterol, etc should be screened for - the sooner issues are found, the easier and less expensive they are to remedy/prevent/ameliorate...

    Heck, when I weight 250 lbs (at 5'3"), none of the PA's or docs I saw even mentioned that my weight might be an issue.  That blows my mind...

    [IMG]http://i52.tinypic.com/9ir889.jpg[/IMG]
  • image Bacon+lettuce+tomato:

    Agree with all of you. Since I don't have a new job yet and we'll lose Tricare when my orders stop, we signed up for H's civilian insurance at his new job. A) It was a super headache b/c I was clueless and there were 5,000 options B) It's expensive! And it's just us!

    I agree with all of you.

    And to go off of BLT's insurance struggles here I'll add my own. 

    There are 3 options of what types of insurance for E's work. I had to sift through all the paper work and made marks on the comparison sheets to see what would be best for us. It took me at least 2 days to sift through everything that was sent home as well as make a decision. It was insane. And every year things keep going up. Our deductible this year is $300pp which is $100 more than last year and $200 more than the year before.  We pay approximately  $350 per month for our insurance just for the two of us, which works out to about $4000 per year. And yes this is medical, dental and vision, but its still a lot of money.

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  • I'm just excited that we're finally getting into the Tricare network. I cannot get over how much more affordable it is than my insurance through work and regret only that I didn't know sooner that we could get Tricare. We'll be paying for some time yet for DD's MRI last year - there is a $3,000 cap per year per person for OOP co-pays with a $6,000 cap per family. And it is going up this year.
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  • Audette, I completely agree with you on the lack of preventative care. In fact, one of the reasons I left nursing was because of my intense frustration with the lack of attention that our healthcare system pays to disease prevention and wellness promotion. But you'll see that just as much on the civilian side as in the military. 
  • image *Krista*:
    Audette, I completely agree with you on the lack of preventative care. In fact, one of the reasons I left nursing was because of my intense frustration with the lack of attention that our healthcare system pays to disease prevention and wellness promotion. But you'll see that just as much on the civilian side as in the military. 

     

    You're probably correct in that the civilian world is likely just as bad for preventative care.  :(  Short term savings for long term costs.  That's one nice thing about socialized health care.  It actually is in their interest to save on those long term costs, even if it does mean higher short term expenses.  Because the short term ones are invariably much less expensive than dealing with the long term aftermath of little/no preventative care...

    I've been on Tricare since my late 20's, so wasn't really at a point where I needed much for wellness checks when I left private insurance.  Now, it's really starting to frustrate me, though.  :(

    [IMG]http://i52.tinypic.com/9ir889.jpg[/IMG]
  • image Audette:

    I'm apparently a bit wacky when it comes to opinions on health care, having grown up in a country with socialized medicine...  (seriously, it's very cool...  low costs, and you never have to worry about going bankrupt because you can't pay your medical bills...)

    So, you can imagine how freaking confused by privatized health care I was when I first moved to the US.  HMO/PPO/Co-pays/etc all had me confuzzled.  I eventually figured out what was going on, and was lucky to be with an employer that had pretty good health coverage, but when I first signed up I felt so blind and confused.

     

    Since marrying DH, and moving to Tricare (I've since shifted to P/T work, and am no longer eligible for insurance thru my employer), it's been a lot simpler for me.  I don't have to figure out the costs - we're on Prime, and there are few things to worry about, other than getting sick when I'm not in the US.

    Tricare Prime (other than it's limited localities) feels a lot like the socialized coverage I had growing up.  It's got more of a bureaucracy built in (yep, that's right - more paperwork and other crap with Tricare than with my old government provided nationalized health program), but it's similar in that there are few worries other than occassionally having to push for particular health checks and having to be my own advocate.

     

    One thing that I have noticed, lately, with Tricare, is that there is crap-all for preventative health programs.  Particularly for spouses.  It's like pulling teeth to just get a general annual health check up, so you can figure out if, maybe, your cholesterol is high, and you need to take measures to prevent it getting worse, or if you are showing signs of being pre-diabetic, etc.  I can't even properly schedule that type of appointment thru Tricare, because they literally don't know what I'm asking for.  A wellness checkup.  Babies get them, why not 30-something women?  It's an age where we do need to start paying attention to these things.  Bone density, cholesterol, etc should be screened for - the sooner issues are found, the easier and less expensive they are to remedy/prevent/ameliorate...

    Heck, when I weight 250 lbs (at 5'3"), none of the PA's or docs I saw even mentioned that my weight might be an issue.  That blows my mind...

     

    I had a very similar situation. Once we got to our first base together last summer, I scheduled an apt with my PCM for a check up, first appointment, and had a script I wanted to transfer. The clinic has no idea what the heck I needed an apt for. It didn't help that we fall under Flight Medicine which people rarely use. When I finally got the apt and checked in.. they were like... so you're not sick at the moment? face palm.

    TriCare was awesome about allowing me/getting me set up for a colonoscopy, which is preventative at no cost, whereas my sister and mom had to pay $4k out of pocket.  

    For the record I am very familiar with the expensive/crappy private insurance. I use to pay $272/mo for my script. I never saw the doc because it was too expensive, I'm a pretty heathly person but can see how people can't afford it.

     My orginal concern about this proposal comes from my lack of knowledge of coverage for retirees. I'll have to do a little more researching.

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