My husband gave 20 years of his life to the United States Navy (along with my 4), so we have Tricare Prime. When we signed up for it, right before he got out, we had a choice between Standard and Prime. We chose Prime due to our son, but it's been a blessing as I go through cancer treatment for the second time, this time lasting 2 years solid. Now, the government is about to screw us royally. I wonder if we'll even get a kiss?
I just got an email from Tricare. It provided a "Zip Code Lookup" to see if your area would be affected by the change. I almost didn't even access it. I read several months ago that several states were changing people over to Standard if they were more than 100 miles from a base hospital. I don't think we are, and Texas wasn't listed as one of the states. But I decided to give it a shot.
As of October 1, 2013, I will no longer be enrolled in Tricare Prime. My coverage will end September 30, 2013. First let me explain the difference between Standard and Prime. With Prime, I pay a yearly fee (for lack of remembering the correct word in my anger). For 10 years it was $464 a year. It has gone up twice in the last year and I think it's about $560, not sure now. They don't let me pay it by the year anymore, I have to pay by the quarter. After that, we pay a set fee every time we go to a doctor, of $12. Now, that may not sound like a lot, but remember, my husband went to substandard care (his teeth are rotting in his mouth from fill and put back on the line medicine) for 20 years. You can't sue the military for substandard care. And you also have to realize that I go to the doctor 3 times a month with my cancer care and get a PET scan 3 times a year. Every time I go to a lab, get a test, etc., it's $12. If we go to the ER, it's $30 (and with that I actually feel guilty because the government doesn't pay ANYTHING to the hospital). For same Day surgery, it's $25. With Standard, you don't pay a yearly fee, but you pay 20% of what TRICARE Allows. Read that again, 20% of what Tricare allows. I don't know if they can bill you for the balance or not, I've not had it before.
The email said that if our current doctors don't take Standard, they are ALLOWED to bill 15% over normal amount, just because they're out of system. What happened to you can keep your doctor and your plan? First you have to meet a family deductible of $300 before they start paying anything. I can do that in one month. I hope my doctor will take a payment plan, because I don't have an extra $300 a month for deductible. SO, now I not only will have to pay 20% of the lab, 20% of the doctor but also 20% of the chemo drugs. I flat out can't afford it. Does anyone know how expensive chemo is? I can't afford it.
The only way I see of making ends meet is to throw every bit of spare cash we can find onto our car payment in the hopes of finding $5,000 in 7 months. If we didn't have that $210 a month, we might make it. My husband is considering finding out if we make little enough to fall into that "free" health care category. He's also trying to find a 10% disability from his service time, so he can go to the VA for free. Yep, you read that one right, too. The VA is not free. Instead of a $12 copay, he pays $15 for his primary and $50 for any clinic (which includes his orthopedic surgeon and every time he goes and gets an x-ray or CT on his broken leg). Problem with that? It may take 12-24 months to get approval. The VA moves so fast, I can almost see vapor trails..../sarcasm off.
All I have is the hope of impeachment or Christ coming back for His faithful.