Ever since we had medical coverage, we’ve always had Tricare Select. We paid extra for this service but we were able to select our doctors from out in town. My children and I saw civilian doctors and made appointments like most others who have traditional health insurance. We paid family deductibles and office visit co-payments.
Tricare Select or Tricare Prime?
The time was nearing and my husband came to me with a serious question about retirement. Do we stay with Tricare Select and pay more for medical coverage or change to Tricare Prime? That was a huge question for my family and me. We never went to a military facility before, and I was unsure of how it all worked. Was the service of care the same as out in town? Would we be able to keep our same doctors? What if one of the kids were sick, who would I call?
We compared both plans for military retirees and Tricare Prime was much cheaper annually for a family. Not to mention, anything prescribed by the doctor was 100% covered at a military pharmacy. Wow, that would be a huge cost savings. After much deliberation and research, we decided to try Tricare Prime.
After 20 years of service from the United States Marine Corps, my honorable husband retired from the Corps. We were starting a new chapter in our lives and a new adventure was just beginning. Surprisingly, a month after retirement we received a call from our new Primary Care Manager (PCM) to schedule our welcome and new patient office visit. They were able to schedule my three children and me to be seen the same day and time.
When it was time for our appointment, we were greeted by three nurses who checked us in quickly and took our vitals. We were then rushed into a room where the doctor came in. He was able to do two sports physicals while we were there and fill out the necessary paperwork. We discussed all health issues for everyone and took notes. He put in a few referrals and then said we should receive a call within 48 hours regarding the referrals.
I had to follow up on the referrals but have been seen by the specialists. It’s a little different navigating the appointment hotline and at times can become very frustrating when trying to reach a Specialist. I’ve noticed you have to follow up on the referrals and stay on top of it. If you do not, you will not hear anything. I have enjoyed the simplicity of Tricare allowing online access to your medical records and appointments. Besides the follow up with specialists and referrals, it’s been a great experience. Do you have any insights or stories to share?