Tricare Standard vs Prime: Standard’s Benefits and Why I Left Prime

by Heather on September 4, 2013

tricare standard

Tricare Standard vs Prime: Standard’s Benefits and Why I Left Prime

 

After I got married, I sat in the Tricare office at the hospital in Newport, RI, and opted in to Tricare Prime. I had no clue what I was doing, but it sounded “better.” If only I’d known how much frustration and delay that decision would cost me. Now I have switched to Tricare Standard and recommend it to everyone who asks.

The great thing about Tricare Prime is of course, the full coverage. However, you do have to weigh that coverage against one other major thing. WAITING.

 

Oh the Blessed Tricare Prime Referrals

In my case, I got fed up with waiting. One of the first things I learned about Navy medicine is that you have to wait a lot. You have to get a referral for everything, whereas with Tricare Standard, you don’t need one.

A referral involves getting an appointment with your Primary Care Manager (PCM- fancy term for Doctor, Nurse, or PA) who then gives you a referral out to another care specialist. Then you set up your appointment with the specialist. In my case, this process has been the cause of most of my frustration with Prime.

 

Going From Tricare To… Tricare

When we decided to start having kids, we knew it might be a bit difficult due to a few medical issues of mine. I got the basic tests done with my PCM in Newport, and then got referred out to a fertility specialist. The only problem was, I couldn’t get in to the specialist for a month.

By the time I got in, we were moving in the next couple of weeks. All we could fit in were a couple of tests. However, I was optimistic. I figured it would be easy to pick up right where we left off once we got down to Jacksonville, Florida, our next duty station. Not so much.

I quickly found out that Tricare is actually four different companies. Tricare North, South, West, and Overseas. So going from Rhode Island to Florida, I had to enroll in Tricare South. Which meant another visit to my new PCM (1 month wait) followed by another referral (another 1 month wait for specialist). Since we were only to be in Florida five months, it was extremely frustrating to waste two months.

After waiting so long, it was difficult for the doctors to get much done for us medically before we moved yet again. Once in Washington State, I thought this could be the end of my troubles. We would be there for a few years at least. Only now we had deployments to deal with.

Same *Stuff Different Day

Once we got to NAS Whidbey, I checked in with Tricare at the hospital. (Another downside of Prime– with Standard you just find your doctor whenever). Once again, I had an appointment with a PCM, but I was expecting it. Since I was referred to a fertility specialist in Jax, I figured the same would happen here since I knew there were no fertility specialists at that location.

Wrong again. Due to trying to keep everything “in house,” I was referred to an OB on base. With a one month wait. I was pissed. I had all my records of what had been done and which tests etc. but that didn’t matter. Plus, the doctors on base weren’t specialists. But they wouldn’t refer me off base until I saw the OB.

When I finally saw the OB, he concluded the same as other doctors… referral out for Fertility… another one month wait (surprise surprise). However, he had to refer me to a clinic 2 hours away, and that hospital wouldn’t accept me because my spouse was deploying in a couple of months!!!

 

Expiring Referrals and More

You get the idea. The frustration seemed endless, and I’m skipping details! Add to that an expiring referral (which meant starting the referral process over again because of deployment), my Navy doctor PCSing, and his replacement was deployed and I would see yet a different PCM in the mean time. And all this time there was a doctor 4 minutes from my house who could handle my fertility issues

 

Tricare Standard to the Rescue!

All this to say, I wish I had opted into Tricare Standard from the very beginning. I would have saved myself months of waiting. And I do mean months. I finally switched over to Tricare Standard, got a specialist near my home, and got on a path to pregnancy. Within 6 months, I was pregnant with my sweet little daughter.

Of course, in hindsight I know God’s timing is perfect and He can work all things for good. P is a perfect gift and I would wait months in many long lines all over again just to get her! However, if I can save myself and anyone else this trouble in the future, I’m all for it.

Here Are Some of Tricare Standard’s Advantages:

  • You can pick your provider- Picking the doctor, PA, physical therapist etc that you want is a huge plus. This is especially true if you have a recommendation for someone great and want to see them.
  • You don’t have to drive to base- If you’re like me and live 30+ minutes from base, it’s nice to not have to drive in every time you have an appointment.
  • No referral- As I mentioned, you don’t need “permission” to see a specialist when you know you need one.
  • Shorter wait times- Since you don’t have to go through your PCM for a referral, you don’t have to wait the extra few weeks for appointments.
  • They still cover 80% and in some cases higher, even 100%. For pregnancy and other certain things they cover all or almost all of the cost. (I still haven’t gotten my bill from my pregnancy so I’m not sure exactly what will be on there.)

You definitely have to research it yourself to decide which is best for you and your family. There are of course many cases where Prime would be the best choice. I personally would rather have to pay a bit extra to have the convenience and choice in my care.

MOAA Supplemental Insurance

One final plus is MOAA Supplemental Insurance. MOAA (Military Officer’s Association of America) provides a Tricare Standard supplement. It covers up to 15% above whatever Tricare Standard pays. If Standard pays 80%, then you’ll have 95% coverage. If they pay 85%, you’ll have 100% coverage. And so on.

To enroll in the supplement, your spouse has to be a MOAA member, which is a yearly fee around $40 I believe. Unfortunately the MOAA supplement is only for officers as far as I know. I don’t know of anything comparable for enlisted.

Then you can enroll any dependent in the supplemental insurance. The monthly rate is low- around $12 per month per person. The 15% extra coverage typically outweighs the monthly cost, in my experience. They also reimburse for the $5 co-pay in the pharmacy.

I am convinced I’ll never go back to Prime. What about you? Are you a Prime or Standard fan? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Read more at Tricare Standard vs Prime: 8 Benefits Of 80% Coverage

xoxo,
Heather

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{ 56 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sarah September 5, 2013 at 1:23 pm

I have considered it so many times! I think the costs scare me. I think once we get settled after deployment we will look into it. I had a lot of trouble with Leah in the beginning and if I could go back over, I would have switched. Instead I spent 4 months trying to get her the treatment I know she needed. After switching PCMs she is on a more effective treatment. BUT Now she is a horrible sleeper, and I really think if I had been on standard in the beginning, things would have worked out a lot faster. For people like me and Isaac though(with no medical issues)… It’s free and I like being on prime. (Especially since I got referred out for my pregnancy anyways)

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2 Heather September 5, 2013 at 4:03 pm

Thanks for your comment Sarah. So true- it’s really case by case. If you have no health issues and are close to base, Prime can be the best thing ever. But like in Leah’s case, Standard could have helped. Hard to know in advance though! I was told that if you switch, you can switch back within the same year one time, so that could be helpful if you do decide to try Standard. Something to look into when the time is right. =)

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3 Alison Vande Castle September 5, 2013 at 4:39 pm

Great info. on the supplemental insurance! I’ve got to look into that for when I switch over to Standard! Thanks!

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4 Heather September 5, 2013 at 7:21 pm

Thanks so much! Happy to pass it on. I was grateful to hear about it from a friend as well. =)

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5 Heather November 27, 2014 at 6:10 pm

Hey did you end up switching to Standard? I think I missed this comment… :/ Sorry Ali!

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6 Robin January 6, 2014 at 1:32 pm

In WA, you can use US Health which is coverage like Prime, but the freedom of Standard!

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7 Heather January 18, 2016 at 1:23 pm

Awesome! Thanks Robin!

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8 Sarah December 14, 2014 at 6:58 pm

Thank you so much for this! I’m going to look into the supplemental coverage asap! I love standard but it can get expensive.

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9 Heather April 19, 2015 at 5:02 pm

I love the supplemental! Just this past month I got $200 back from pharmacy co-pays. So worth it, for us at least. =) Thanks for reading!

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10 Jessica March 4, 2015 at 11:50 pm

I REALLY appreciated reading this today! I have Tricare prime. We recently moved 1 1/2 hours away from the nearest base and I was told you must live over an hour away to choose your specialist under prime. I thought surely I’m over an hour away, no problem. Well, according to their calculations (Google maps) I’m actually 50 minutes away (they don’t consider traffic) so I was assigned to the hospital on base. I’m halfway through my pregnancy. I’ve already seen 3 different Physician Assistants at 3 different bases for prenatal care… Doesn’t matter if you just saw a medical professional a month prior and have all medical notes with you! They treat you as an initial patient visit if they haven’t seen you. So I haven’t had steady prenatal care yet. Today, I spent hours on the phone trying to get them to refer me to an OB closer to home. It’s not worth the stress & frustration… I’m done with Prime! I’m looking forward to having just one OB doc that I’ll get to know and is a lot closer to my home. Standard all the way!

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11 Heather April 19, 2015 at 4:56 pm

Oh my gosh that sounds stressful!!! Ugh! I hope you are all set on Standard now. I have loved it. I can’t believe they made you go to base, that’s crazy. Thanks so much for reading!

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12 deAnna September 21, 2015 at 1:13 am

Thank you for this information. My children have some health issues and the military post we are at can’t seem to get things right with their medication. I am beyond frustrated at this point. I will be switching to Tricare Standard tomorrow.

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13 Heather September 23, 2015 at 3:42 pm

Wow- so glad I could help! It can be so frustrating so I’m glad you can move forward now. Good luck and let me know how it goes!

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14 Maureen September 29, 2015 at 9:10 pm

I, too, am scared of the out of pocket costs if I change to Tricare Standard, but tonight I am still waiting for my PCM to call me because I just need a prescription for a rash that I get frequently. I called Monday morning at 8, and it is now Tuesday evening. They say they have 3 days to even call you back. If I had Standard, I could just walk into an Urgicare, pay $12, and get the prescription. Your comments may make me finally do it!

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15 Heather October 5, 2015 at 8:40 pm

Ugh! So stressful when you have to wait forever. I hope you find the right fit for you! Thanks for stopping by!

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16 Mrs. Ricoangeles July 8, 2016 at 4:37 pm

Wow $12 for an UrgentCare? When I was on standard they wanted $300 up front just to be seen all because of tricare standard. I could not pay that much just to be seen. I ended up going to the hospital er on post that night with my kiddo. Standard usually costs a lot more that is one thing I did not like about Standard. I wish my visit would of been $12 that night so I did not have to go on post, but post is only like 10 minutes from me so it was not too bad.

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17 Kristine December 10, 2015 at 1:55 pm

I am so glad I found this post! I am leaning towards a switch to Standard from Prime because my son sees many different specialists and it is incredibly frustrating having to wait for referrals. The only doctor in our area that we are able to see with Prime has a terribly long waiting time – once, we waited 3 hours to be seen! He was born premature and Prime was excellent for that – we didn’t have to pay for his two month long NICU stay, but the constant waiting and frustration I feel with referrals and the particular doctors we have to see is really taking a toll. I am ready to switch myself and my little guy to Standard.

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18 Heather December 10, 2015 at 9:23 pm

yay! Glad to help! Good luck with the switch. =)

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19 Lori December 21, 2015 at 5:15 pm

My husband is retired army. We are currently on tricare prime. Can I move to tricare standard but have my husband and children stay in tricare prime?

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20 Heather December 21, 2015 at 9:44 pm

Hi Lori- I’m not 100% sure about how it works when retired… but for Active duty, I can be on Standard and keep my kids on Prime. I will look into whether it’s the same for retired.

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21 M January 5, 2016 at 9:13 pm

For those worried about costs with Standard, there is a $300 deductible per FAMILY or $150 deductible per person, whichever is LESS, and $1,000 “catastrophic cap” per FAMILY that limits your cost sharing obligation after the deductible to $1k. The former is applied before Tricare pays any benefits, and the latter is for the cost share after. Once the catastrophic cap is reached, Tricare pays 100% of medical bills if the procedure is covered. These reset every fiscal year (Oct 1). So basically the cost of freedom and no-hassles is $1300 a year at most, and only if you actually are getting treatment beyond scheduled well visits… far cheaper than almost every other private health insurance plan out there.

So if you have an expensive hospital visit, ie a C-section delivery, you’ll be liable for at most $1,300, that’s if you either used no benefits prior or had the baby on Oct 1.

One downside to Standard recently is that many doctors are dropping it from their practices because it pays Medicare rates, ie the doctors don’t make money off of your visit. You may be limited to a choice of 1-2 family physicians or pediatricians in your area.

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22 Heather January 7, 2016 at 11:54 am

Thanks for the info! Good stuff =)

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23 Kristin May 23, 2016 at 10:57 pm

And, the above information regarding deductibles and caps is true for Tricare Prime for Retirees. You still have to meet the same deductibles and catastrophic cap, but you pay – what is it now? – $500 additionally a year as a premium for Prime. With Standard, there is not a yearly premium. So, when weighing the differences, it’s not actually $1300 of patient responsibility, it’s actually only $1300 minus the premium. That’s only $800 if the yearly premium is $500 a year (I think it’s actually more than that now).

I had my 2 young kids late in life, am a 20 year military retiree, and all 4 of us are on Standard. We wouldn’t change it for anything!

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24 Kristin May 23, 2016 at 11:05 pm

Just want to clarify…3K is the cap for retirees. 1K is the cap for active duty.

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25 Heather May 24, 2016 at 8:15 pm

awesome thank you!

26 Skye January 14, 2016 at 9:08 pm

How do you go about switching to standard? I’ve been looking into to it for a couple months but keep getting sent to different contacts – base tells me to call tricare, tricare tells me to go to base, base tells me to send a letter to tricare, nothing gets done after the letter, etc. etc. I would really like to switch but cannot figure out how!

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27 Heather January 18, 2016 at 1:19 pm

That is so weird! I am trying to remember what i did… I think I just called but I may have had to submit a form.

I looked up how to enroll in Prime, because I’m assuming the people who help you enroll would know how to un-enroll from Prime. Because technically you don’t have to enroll in Standard, you’re automatically in it if you’re not in Prime.

You should also have a Tricare office somewhere on base (likely in or near the medical facility) that should be able to help you. Sorry it’s been such a run-around.

North—Health Net: 1-877-874-2273
South—Humana Military: 1-800-444-5445
West—UnitedHealthcare: 1-877-988-9378

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28 Morgan January 22, 2016 at 8:37 am

It’s unfortunate that Navy Medicine gets painted in a negative light for patients’ lack of knowledge on how to navigate the system. Should it be easier? Absolutely. However, I’ve found Tricare Prime to be extremely easy and responsive. The times that I did have to see a provider in town were less than ideal.

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29 Heather January 22, 2016 at 6:19 pm

Hi Morgan- I’m glad you’ve had such a good experience with Prime! I know for some it does have a lot of merit. I don’t think it was my lack of knowledge that made it a negative experience for me, but more the frustration of waiting. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts!

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30 Patricia January 26, 2016 at 10:27 pm

Morgan your definitely one of the lucky ones. I have had nothing but frustration with military hospital Mayport. Our daughter was involved in an accident New Years Eve sadly everyone requires referal. Finally 3 weeks later we get something. It’s horrible how we as retires are being treated by these piss poor clinics. Sadly due to poor unprofessional care we are being forced to go Standard.

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31 Heather February 8, 2016 at 8:27 pm

Sorry to hear about your daughter’s accident! Wishing her a speedy recovery and praying you can get the care you need!

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32 Amanda January 23, 2016 at 1:10 pm

I didn’t grow up with Tricare and I didn’t marry my husband until I was in my 30s, so I had been paying (astronomical) premiums and out-of-pocket for years, so when we got married I was excited about Tricare. I was, though, terrified of leaving my doctors. I love the doctors I have, they know my issues, they know me, and I’d been seeing them for almost 10 years. Thankfully, Tricare Standard is accepted by my doctors, and compared to what I was paying before, it hardly even makes me blink. I’ve heard good and bad things about Tricare Prime, but I never even wanted to try it, I went straight to Standard.

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33 Heather January 23, 2016 at 4:31 pm

That’s great that you could keep your same doctors and stay in the same location (sounds like) after you got married! Yes Standard has great perks, and though Prime does too, it sounds like you found the best fit for you. =) Thanks for stopping by!

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34 Melissa January 23, 2016 at 5:11 pm

My husband is a medically retired Marine (disabled vet). We have Prime, but are 40+ miles from a base, so are allowed to see civilian doctors we chose as long as they take Tricare. We also went through fertility treatments and high risk pregnancies to have both our children, including specialists, tests, procedures, hospitalizations and even ambulance rides. Standard would have bankrupted us at paying 20% of all that. As it was, I paid less than $500 total for everything for both kids. It was worth the referrals and paper chase (and I got very, very good at it considering the money we saved). However, we were in the same location the whole time and not dealing with deployments. (We did have to travel a little over an hour for specialists due to our rural location.)

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35 Heather February 8, 2016 at 8:35 pm

Melissa- I’m so glad Prime worked to your advantage! Yes the fertility stuff does add up, although Standard does cover pretty much 100% of pregnancy and doesn’t apply the typical 80% coverage. I love hearing success stories like yours– thanks for sharing!

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36 Kristin May 23, 2016 at 11:04 pm

I just want to point out, only so that it’s not misleading to others reading this and seeking information, that Tricare Standard likely would not have bankrupted you. The 20% sounds scary, but you only pay that until you meet your catastrophic cap, which is around $3000. The $3k is from the beginning to the end of the fiscal year, and it is a family cap, so it adds up over the year. Once you meet the cap, you pay nothing more.

3K is the cap for military retiree families.
1K is the cap for active duty families.

Hope that helps.

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37 Mrs. Ricoangeles July 8, 2016 at 4:48 pm

Prime will pay for the whole fertility process? I was told they only covered some of the medications and they would cover blood work, but the actual procedure and some of the meds had to be paid out of pocket?

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38 Heather July 16, 2016 at 10:50 am

Good question, it varies. Not sure why or if it depends on your region. There are also military treatment facilities that offer IVF at an extremely reduced rate– around $5K instead of $20K.

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39 Sondra January 24, 2016 at 9:43 am

Thanks for the article. We chose standard from the start as my daughter lives in a city that is not close to a base. I checked in to the supplemental ins but it was 35 per month vs annually 🙂

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40 Heather February 8, 2016 at 8:29 pm

I think it does increase based on how many people you choose to have covered by it. I just got $200 back in pharmacy co-pays which made it a huge plus for us!

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41 Zaneta March 16, 2016 at 9:36 pm

How do you switch? And how long does it take? I am beyond frustrated with prime. The sub-standard care received from Wright Patterson AFB should be illegal.

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42 Heather March 25, 2016 at 11:16 am

You can call Tricare or go to a Tricare office and they can tell you what to do. I did it a long time ago so I need to look into that to have an exact answer for you. You should just be able to fill out something to unenroll in Prime.

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43 Melanie May 17, 2016 at 10:41 pm

Thank you SO much for this! I just got married to my navy guy a month ago and I’m trying to figure out which option would be best for me while taking into consideration that we are going to be trying to have kids soon. I had no idea about MOAA either so that is something else that could be awesome for us. Can’t thank you enough for the info! Ps. we just moved to Pensacola from Jacksonville. I so miss it over there! 🙂

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44 Heather May 21, 2016 at 7:19 pm

I’m so glad this helped you! Congrats on your new marriage and welcome to life as a military spouse. =) Prime does have its merit too so it definitely depends on your particular situation. Hope you figure out the best option for you!

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45 Ed August 1, 2016 at 10:21 am

I retired from active Army in 2012 and for the past four years I’ve had nothing but constant frustrations with Tricare Prime by going through my Ft. Belvoir PCM. In the fall of 2014 my military PCM submitted a referral to see an ankle and foot doctor. After a week or two I was referred to a civilian provider that resulted a right ankle surgery in 2015 and a left ankle surgery in May 2016. For the past two years I had to schedule PCM appointments to get new referrals submitted to keep seeing this civilian foot doctor. The final straw I had with Tricare Prime was when I started having post ankle surgery complications with blood clotting and abscess infections. My ankle doctor referred me to see the best vascular surgeon in the area, but my military PCM wouldn’t even refer me to a military vascular doctor because said he said it wasn’t necessary. Keep in mind my entire vein in my leg was clotted. So I immediately disenrolled in Tricare Prime for Tricare Standard. By being in Standard I was able to see the vascular surgeon recommended by my foot doctor. Then I had an abscess infection in my ankle that resulted in an emergency surgery on 12 July 15 that was performed by my civilian foot doctor at the Fairfax Hospital. This resulted in me being in the hospital for 5 days. Now here’s the down side of Prime vs. Standard. Since I switched from Standard to Prime I was responsible to pay $1,030 out of pocket for this $21,000 surgery/hospital stay. So for the satisfaction of getting the doctor you want and more prompt care you get with Standard you will have to decide if it’s worth paying up to potentially up to $3,000 per year in out of pocket expenses.

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46 Heather August 11, 2016 at 9:01 pm

Wow, Ed, that sounds like a challenging experience to go through! Glad you got the care you needed after you switched. Yes, sometimes there’s a cost to it but who knows where you would be had you not made the switch. Thanks for sharing!

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47 David August 3, 2016 at 12:29 pm

I’m a retired Army Officer, looking into seeing a doctor for the first time since retiring in February 2015 for minor skin issues. I’ve been on Standard due to no premiums and it has worked for me since I rarely go to the doctor (my wife has full access to VA as she is medically retired from the DoD). I’ve always thought that Standard was the way for me to go and your posts here confirmed my thoughts. Thanks!

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48 Heather August 11, 2016 at 8:58 pm

I’m glad to help David. I don’t know as much about the retirement plan so hopefully I haven’t led you astray. =) Thanks to you and your wife for your service!

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49 Tiffany August 10, 2016 at 7:19 am

When you got the hospital bill for the pregnancy was it over $1000?

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50 Heather August 11, 2016 at 8:55 pm

No we didn’t get a bill. Tricare standard covers 100% of pregnancy & birth, minus an $18 per day cost share. I never saw a bill or paid a co-pay during a visit, I believe because I have a Tricare supplemental insurance (MOAA). Here’s a link which lists tricare standard cost shares for active duty family members: http://www.tricare.mil/Costs/HealthPlanCosts/TSE/ADFM

For my current pregnancy I had to see a high-risk specialist once who was out of network so I had to pay some out of pocket for that.

*I edited this response with more info

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51 Tiffany August 10, 2016 at 7:19 am

I mean for the birth 🙂

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52 Kelly August 15, 2016 at 3:05 pm

Thanks so much for this information. I am getting married in October, and weighing keeping my employer’s insurance or switching to Tricare. It sounds like Standard is my better option, as I’m okay with paying a bit more to keep the flexibility of choosing my own doctors. Do you know how long it takes for coverage to kick in? Additionally, if my fiancé (who is medically retired) is currently on Prime, can I do Standard, or do we have to choose the same thing? Thanks!

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53 Heather August 29, 2016 at 9:49 am

Hi Kelly- you should be able to choose Standard but it may be a slightly different coverage under a retirement plan. I honestly don’t know a tone about retirement plans so I would definitely give Tricare a call, or you may have to have your fiance call since you’re not married yet. I believe coverage kicks in once you’re married (and do the paperwork… but they may back-date to your wedding day) but it may also be the beginning of the next month. I would definitely contact tricare regarding your specific situation, but you shouldn’t have to be on the same coverage as he is. Congrats on your upcoming wedding!

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54 Emma August 23, 2016 at 7:25 pm

My husband and I have been married for 3 1/2 years and are expecting our first baby (due in January)! He has been in the Ohio Army National Guard for 5 years and is now switching to active duty. He reports for OCS soon and we know the first week or so is paperwork…including health insurance! I have really good coverage right now but that ends on October 31st. For the rest of my pregnancy, I will be living in Connecticut while my husband is at OCS. When he enrolls, can he enroll us both in Tricare Standard so I can continue care with the OB/GYN & midwife group I have been seeing? I have read so much about Tricare and feel completely confused! Any help would be SO appreciated! This is a big transition for us as he is missing the rest of my pregnancy and may or may not be there for the birth. Thanks in advance!

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55 Heather August 29, 2016 at 9:45 am

Hi Emma- your husband will automatically be on Prime as an Active Duty member. You don’t have to enroll in Standard, you will automatically be standard when he enters you in DEERS. You may have to indicate something about your current insurance or make sure the Navy knows when your current coverage ends. Your baby is covered under your care until he/she is born. Once born your husband will have to enter them in Deers right away. They will also be on Standard unless you choose to enroll them in Prime. Hope that helps and I hope he makes it for the birth!

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56 Deb June 14, 2017 at 12:14 pm

I switched from Prime to Standard several years ago after an especially frustrating four months having to deal with ortho at the Jax Naval Hospital. I have never looked back or regretted the decision. I had been unable to walk without a cane for almost a year due to problems in the knee. Felt like I was walking on glass inside the knee. They would not let me see my civilian ortho, had to go to the base. The PA there that saw me would not do an MRI or CT scan and refused to scope, just sent me to PT–which did not work. Ultimately, he told me that there was nothing further he could do. When my husband asked if they could give me a brace to I would not keep falling, he looked at my husband and told him “the problem with your wife’s knee is not physical.” He then got up and left the room without another word and went to the next patient. We called Prime that day and terminated the plan. A month later we went do see my civilian ortho who scoped the knee within a few weeks. He cleaned out a massive amount of debris and cartilage that were floating about in there. I was up and walking without pain and without the cane that afternoon. I have not seen a doctor at that hospital since–and never will.

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