DS is now a 2nd Lt in USAF

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by KReiland, May 28, 2017.

  1. KReiland

    KReiland Member

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    Hello all,
    My son is heading for his first base in a few weeks, his EAD is in June. First, thanks for all the information you all were willing to share with us over the last four years. Though mainly a lurker, I learned alot about military life through your posts. I've also been lurking on a couple of FB groups that are mainly for the families of enlisted. Do any of you know of social media groups for parents of officers? Not being from a military family, and being a nerd, I just like to have place to get some information without bothering "The Lieutenant". I have one other question, I carry health insurance for my family, BCBS. It is a family plan, doesn't matter how many members of the family I cover. Not knowing much about Tricare, should I keep him covered under mine (no addition cost to me) and have Tricare as secondary? Or should I take him off of my insurance completely? Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Pima

    Pima 10-Year Member

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    Take him off completely as soon as he gets to his base. As an ADAF member Tricare would be his primary insurance. He will be seen on base by military docs, unless G forbid he has to go to the emergency room. (Most base hospitals are open only during duty hours).

    In our 20+ yrs ADAF Bullet and I only had Tricare. We never spent a penny out of pocket. Our DS and his family as ADAF members only have Tricare. When their baby was born, I believe the total bill was $29 for the hospital, everything else was 100% covered (she saw docs off base).

    I do not know of any social groups for officer families that you can pop in on. Most of the ones that my DD is in are connected to their base, in particular their squadron, thus it is a private FB page.
    ~ If he is going to UPT you might want to lurk on baseops.net. Beware of posting over there because unlike here, on that site there is such a thing as a silly question. baseops.net is really only for fliers, but you can find info on certain bases or other things that touch every ADAF members life.

    As a mom of a now O3, when he was an O1, O2 and even now we rarely talk about his career. Out of a 15 minute phone call, maybe 2 minutes is about his work...how was your flight this week, are you going anywhere soon? The reason why is if something is going wrong than he will bring it up. If he doesn't want to bring it up than we want him to have that space, BUT more importantly allow him 15 minutes of not thinking about the issue. Afterall, there is nothing we can do for him, but support him.
    ~ ADAF in a way is no different than corporate America. There will be people that you don't get along with. There will be people that got that position you wanted (not talking rank, but the job within the squadron or wing). There will be bosses that you think are making a poor decision, and you just have to deal with it. So on and so forth.
    ~ We also do this because of our family history when Bullet was ADAF. His Mom would push and pry during their weekly phone calls, and many times he would either dread calling her or get off the phone exhausted. She never knew that was how he felt, but I as his wife knew it, and had to listen to him complain. All he wanted when he talked to her was a little bit of home. He wanted that 15 minutes of shutting out his AF life, not answering questions of when will you hear about your next assignment, your next promotion, etc.

    IOWS take his lead. If he talks in an acronym, IE I am going TDY enroute for my PCS, than you can always jump over here and use the acronym list here to figure it out.

    Congrats on his commissioning. My only real advice for you is to figure out which airline is the major carrier for the base he will be assigned to for the next few years or get an AMEX card to use points for tickets.
    ~ IE DS is in Texas. American is the major carrier, and the only one we can use to fly into Abilene. We signed up for their flight miles since we go out to him at least every 5-6 months. In essence we will be able to get free flights soon enough because we only fly that carrier. Had he been stationed in Florida, I am sure we would have done JetBlue. Colorado and it would have been United.
     
  3. MSFaygo

    MSFaygo 5-Year Member

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    Pima
    For the past 5 years, I always felt like the advice you gave was always directed at me (on spot and very helpful) . Now that DS has commissioned, and like OP's DS will be heading out to his base in a few weeks I think this post is again, very helpful as we head into the next phase. Thanks for passing on your experience to us novices.
     
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  4. k2rider

    k2rider 5-Year Member

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    I'd keep him on your insurance until the bitter end if it's not costing you anything. Both our kids are now officers and they are both on our insurance. My daughter recently had a medical issue and it required a procedure that the Army wouldn't do. We took care of it with our insurance instead. That saved our daughter about $6000.
     
  5. KReiland

    KReiland Member

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    Pima, Thank you so much for the information, this was just what I was looking for. I appreciate the advice as well. DS went to college here in our town but he definitely is on his own. We have been lucky to have as much time together as we have the last few years. We have a nice easy relationship and my mom "helicopter" is grounded for sure. I know he shares what he wants to, and I ascribe to the "The path of least resistance yields more forward motion!" I more was wanting a way to not reinvent the wheel, Tricks and tips about visits, always looking for bargains and make sure I know the rules of military life. I am a nurse and I guess it's in my nature to my homework. He is single, so just wanting to make sure I have a way to find things out if G forbid, something does happen that I need to have a clue. That is great information about the credit cards. He will be in Albuquerque so I think most airlines fly there. As for the social groups, the ones I was lurking on are usually Private groups about their kids going to BMT and kind of give the moms a safe place to vent and talk and worry among others going through the same thing. Like I said, I lurked but I learned alot about what to do and NOT to do just reading their posts. But I thought I might have other questions, such as points for visiting, etc. Thanks again, I appreciate the time you took to give a me a thoughtful, helpful response!
     
  6. cb7893

    cb7893 5-Year Member

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    I am having trouble imagining either a medically necessary procedure not being covered by Tricare or an elective procedure covered by private insurance. Do you have some sort of "Cadillac" coverage available through your place of work? Ted Cruz, for instance, uses his wife's coverage through Goldman Sachs rather than that provided members of Congress.

    I completely understand any reluctance to respond about your DD's case. I hope the issue is resolved with no lasting impact on her longterm health or military career.
     
  7. Pima

    Pima 10-Year Member

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    My advice for visiting is think of company like fish...after a few days they start to stink. Bullet and I typically only go out to visit for 5 days, usually on a Thursday to Monday (we have found those days are the cheap day flights for where we are flying out and going. Plus, going over a weekend allows him to take less leave.

    Albuquerque has a lot of amazing places to visit and some places that are just a few hours away.
    ~ He will find out from his peers where to go...such as. the must try restaurant. Some times those restaurants are dives that you have to try, and sometimes they are expensive. Or they will tell him some off beat place that is a must see. IE when we were assigned to Elmendorf there is a hiking trail that has an amazing waterfall, most people never visit there because they are busy seeing Portage Glacier or going to Denali.
    ~~ I am sure just like when we were at Elmendorf my Mom would visit every year for the Iditarod you will go to balloon festival.

    A tip I would also give is sometimes, especially if he is single is to think about flying in on a Thursday and then Friday or Sat drive to Las Cruces (3 hrs drive) and spend the night. Carlsbad Caverns is a little longer (4+ hrs). It gives him some time away from the base to see more of NM.

    If you want to know gift ideas. This is one we did for our DS when he was an O1. He and his friends enjoyed golfing. I called the golf course and ordered a gift card for him through MWR (Morale Welfare Recreatioon). He could use it to play golf, buy new clubs or just get lunch because the golf course has a club house opened for lunch.

    Hope some of those ideas help you to start getting some ideas.
     
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  8. DesertCaliMom

    DesertCaliMom Member

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    If a Tricare doctor won't sign off on a rare or orphan diagnosis this happens. Several people in my rare disease community have had to go outside Tricare since 1)in network didn't diagnose 2) the neurosurgeons don't regularly peform the needed surgical treatment.
     
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  9. KReiland

    KReiland Member

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    Thank you k2. So would our insurance be secondary or the Tricare?
     
  10. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ 10-Year Member

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  11. Pima

    Pima 10-Year Member

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    Desert Cali I get what you are saying, but if you follow that theory I would have hard time believing they would not be discharged for medical reasons. Thus, there is a much bigger problem...no more military career.
    ~ Not only no more career, but now they have a pre-existing condition and getting health insurance may be more costly. Thus, it could be beneficial to keep them on their insurance.
    ~ Going out of the network without TriCare approval because you have secondary insurance that will cover the bill might cause other issues. IE A specialist that is not TriCare approved may prescribe meds that the military does not allow for various reasons. I know that the OP's DS is not going rated, but in the rated world taking anything more than aspirin is a big no-no, that includes things as common as Claritin or Afrin for allergies, they will not even dare to take Dayquil or Nyquil without a flight docs approval. The irony of this is if they take those meds than the doc will place them DNIF (Duty Not Including Flying), and for them to be DNIF, well you might as well cut off their pinky! They basically have to be near death's door to go to a flight doc. Trust me ask any rated officer and they will tell you funny stories...Bullet has broken is little toe so often and would reset it by himself to avoid seeing a flight doc and going DNIF. Having TriCare or a secondary insurance would do no good because they don't want to be DNIF.
    ~~ Putting it out there for parents that have kids going rated.

    The OP is fortunate enough to be able to carry them on their private insurance with no cost, and in that case keep it. Yet, I think for the avg poster or lurker it is unnecessary due to cost for carrying a child over 23 with medical insurance, such as TriCare when they are AD.

    TriCare gets a lot of bad raps. They don't make life easy. However, in the cases where we had some serious medical issues we never paid a dime out of pocket.
    ~ When Bullet was ADAF our 15 yo DD was bitten by a copperhead snake, rushed to the hospital via ambulance. Required 5 vials of anti-venom which is very risky and very expensive. We were told she had less than 20% chance of going into anaphylatic shock or having a heart attack. She had to stay in the hospital for 5 days. The meds and the ambulance ride alone total was over $12K, can't recall the hospital bill for the stay and the docs. We paid ZERO.
    ~ I have had to MRIs and multiple xrays, plus was sent to a specialist for an injury and again our bill was zero.

    It is jmpo, but I still am on the side of taking them off the insurance for multiple reasons.
    1. How long do you plan to keep them on? Until they are 40 and you retire? IOWS, where is your cutoff date? 25, 30, when they get married, when they have their own kids?
    2. It creates a safety net that may stunt their own maturity growth from a financial aspect. As AF retirees with the new ACA we were able to put our kids on TriCare Youth. We paid a nominal amount. However, the minute they were employed and had health insurance we pulled them off of our plan. It was the attitude of you are now an adult, and being adult means paying your own way. Yes, I know we are hard arses, but when Bullet and I were their age we were not on our parents health insurance and survived.
    3. The fear of something bad might happen is not a way to live. I get there these outlier situations exist, but look back at the beginning of this novella. If you have to go down the route that requires 2nd insurance, chances are they are going to meet a medical review board and now they may be looking at medical release.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2017
  12. k2rider

    k2rider 5-Year Member

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    Actually, yes, my wife does have an awesome PPO "Cadillac" insurance thru her employer....a biotech company. Needless to say, I'm not going to post the issue but I will say the Army fully supported her to go to an outside provider and it has had no effect on her military career. Her latest evaluations were fantastic and she has been recommended for promotion to Captain so I guess that's all she can hope for.
     
  13. k2rider

    k2rider 5-Year Member

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    With MY logic.....I would call it an "emergency backup" plan to Tricare because you just never know nowadays. As it turned out, it definitely worked out for our daughter. If it doesn't cost you any extra, why anybody wouldn't keep it is beyond me.
     
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  14. cb7893

    cb7893 5-Year Member

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    That's great news!
     
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  15. KReiland

    KReiland Member

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    I checked out the link that Capt MJ sent me. I will have to do some calling. It says Tricare Prime is the only insurance you can have if you are new active duty. But then it also talks about what to do if you have "Other Health Insurance" (OHI) via a employer sponsored health plan. There also was something about if you do have OHI, then Tricare is always secondary insurance BY LAW (a few exceptions like Medicare) and pays after all other health insurance. On the same page it says: "Are you active duty? You can't use other health insurance, Tricare is your only coverage."

    Are there different types of "Active Duty"?

    The ONLY reason I am checking on this is I am between jobs but have an offer out from a large hospital with excellent benefits which I will be signing up for in the next few weeks. I will have to get family plan insurance to cover our daughter, so the family plan price is the same whether I have 2 kids or 20. It's a really good plan but if it's just going to confuse everything, I will just drop him from it. My original thought process was that there might be coinsurance and deductibles that between the two might be covered completely, again since I don't have to pay any extra for it. I love to save a buck for myself or my kids :)
     
  16. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ 10-Year Member

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    I think your idea of calling a Tricare service center for real answers is a good idea. No HIPAA issues related to your son, as the focus will be on general questions. In my Navy career, I never paid a dime out of pocket for any medical care or Rx. No premiums, no co-pays, no cost share, no annual max. Even at civilian ERs or urgent care, my military ID was proof of insurance, and 100% is billed to Tricare. All I had to do when receiving care outside my normal Tricare provider was to report the incident by phone so they could start a case file. This happens, say, when driving PCS XC, and that pesky cold has devolved into head-pounding sinusitis, and a stop at a civilian urgent care in the middle of nowhere is needed. Or the military hospital decides to refer out to a civilian specialist - all covered. Or an accident requiring an ambulance and trip to civilian ER - just show the CAC card, call the Tricare number to report when you can, and that's it.

    There are things Tricare doesn't cover, and the list is somewhere online, but it's things like elective cosmetic surgery, elective abortions (govt policy), etc. and likely some things I have not heard of or know about.

    I always thought I was not allowed to use anything else while on AD, but I haven't looked hard for the instruction or regulation.

    Some of the language you see may be because Guard and Reserve toggle back and forth between Tricare on AD and civilian insurance when not, and Tricare-eligible non-AD family members may have coverage from an employer they prefer to use, because their preferred doc takes the employer Blue Cross plan but not Tricare. I won't delve into the other forms of Tricare that are not Prime.
     
  17. AROTC-dad

    AROTC-dad Moderator 5-Year Member

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    From the Tricare website:

    If you have any health insurance other than TRICARE, it is called "other health insurance." Health insurance you have in addition to TRICARE, such as Medicare or an employer-sponsored health insurance. TRICARE supplements don’t qualify as "other health insurance."." It can be through your employer or a private insurance program. By law, TRICARE pays after all other health insurance, except for:
    • Medicaid
    • TRICARE supplements
    • State Victims of Crime Compensation Programs
    • Other Federal Government Programs identified by the Director, Defense Health Agency (i.e. Indian Health Service)
    This means your other health insurance processes your claim first. Then, you or your doctor files your claim with TRICARE.

    Source: https://tricare.mil/Plans/OHI
     
  18. KReiland

    KReiland Member

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    I actually just got off of the phone with them. They said I could keep my son on my insurance if I want, but that he wouldn't be "allowed" to use it while on active duty. The gentleman I spoke to said everything should be covered. So it sounds like it just confuses things to have him on there. If (heaven forbid) he were to leave the military in the next four years that would probably be a qualifying event and I could add him.
     
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