The Free Voice of the Fort Leonard Wood MO Area

Opinion Section => Military Opinion => Topic started by: Law101 on July 30, 2008, 12:54:18 PM

Title: Military Benefits, different than when you joined?
Post by: Law101 on July 30, 2008, 12:54:18 PM
I don't want to go off topic but I think this point is important to the current disscusion.

How many promises made to the military regarding future benefits have been changed or taken away over the years since WWII?  I know of several that affected family members of mine.

I also would like to point out that any type of Military "bashing" does not contribute anything positive to our communities or our efforts to promote a supportive envirement to those families who remain here while their loved one is deployed.  Nor does it encourage them to take an active part in our communities while they are stationed here.  It also does not encourage them to retire here.
Title: Military Benefits, different than when you joined?
Post by: Geezer Glide Taz on July 30, 2008, 01:16:48 PM
Not even since WWII. I joined in 1977, and was told i had free medical and dental for life.
Now I have no dental at all through the miltary and have to pay the same rates as anyone, and I have to pay for Tricare Prime medical insurance.
 
Title: Military Benefits, different than when you joined?
Post by: Coyote on July 30, 2008, 01:22:42 PM
I joined in 1976 and was never told I had free dental for life.  Also, you don't have to pay for Tri-care prime.  You still get treated, but if you have tri-care prime, you can make appointments and get to the head of the line.  That's worth the measly $230 a year for me.  My husband chooses not to...that's his call.
Title: Military Benefits, different than when you joined?
Post by: mandie_81z on July 30, 2008, 01:28:07 PM
My mom pays for Tricare prime and she still can't get an appt. when she needs one. I think its a waste of money.
Title: Military Benefits, different than when you joined?
Post by: Coyote on July 30, 2008, 01:40:17 PM
I can't believe that.  I get an appointment each and every time I call, plus the last two were same-day appointments.  Depending on the problem, sometimes you have to wait a couple of weeks like anyone else who sees a doctor.  Plus, you don't need an appointment to get lab work done.  I really don't think you have your story straight.

My mom pays for Tricare prime and she still can't get an appt. when she needs one. I think its a waste of money.
Title: Military Benefits, different than when you joined?
Post by: mandie_81z on July 30, 2008, 01:47:46 PM
Excuse me but just because you can do it doesn't mean everyone can. My mom rarely needs an apointment and every single time she's called its been weeks and weeks you have to wait. When she has a sinus infection, which is usually the problem, she usually has to go to the emergency room. I'm not saying it isn't better lately, she hasn't been sick, but in the past she has had problems. Wow, now I remember why I usually keep my mouth shut on here and try to just reply on boring topics, because I guess I'm not entitled to my opinion. You basically just called me a liar but what I see it as is two people having different experiences. Maybe my mom has bad luck and is sick when everyone else is and maybe you just have good luck and are able to get in right away. IF the situations where reversed do you know what I would have said. I would have said wow, my mom has really good luck with getting appointments, maybe she can tell me her secret so I can pass it on to you.
Title: Military Benefits, different than when you joined?
Post by: fknarmyguyretired on July 30, 2008, 01:52:48 PM
appointments can be difficult to get sometimes, sometimes if you try a couple days and can't get one you either just have to to the ER or ask for a referal to go off post.
Title: Military Benefits, different than when you joined?
Post by: Coyote on July 30, 2008, 01:58:07 PM
If you have tri-care prime, you ALWAYS get an appointment.  It might not be when you want it, but you ALWAYS get one.  You seem to know quite a bit about what your mom does each and every time....
Title: Military Benefits, different than when you joined?
Post by: mandie_81z on July 30, 2008, 02:03:01 PM
1) I lived with her for quite a few years before my dad moved back here because two people, big house, why did i need to move out.
2)We ride to work together so if she has an appt. it affects my schedule as well
3) I'm very close with my mom and we email each other during the day so if she has trouble getting an appointment, or with a co-worker, or anything she emails me about it to get it off her chest.
What's wrong with that. And I'm not trying to sound defensive but i'm just stating the facts. I'm VERY glad I have such a good relationship with her. Let me tell you after Joe's mom was murdered it really made me realize how much she means to me.
Title: Military Benefits, different than when you joined?
Post by: ~kathy~ on July 30, 2008, 02:03:54 PM


[/quote
I can't believe that.  I get an appointment each and every time I call, plus the last two were same-day appointments.  Depending on the problem, sometimes you have to wait a couple of weeks like anyone else who sees a doctor.  Plus, you don't need an appointment to get lab work done.  I really don't think you have your story straight.


Everytime I would call over and try and get my mom an appointment she couldn't get in when she really needed one. My dad died 13 months before he would have had 25 years in the army and they were told that they would have free dental and medical because my dad knew he wouldn't be around for my mother (but never told my mom) so he asked to be sure she would be taken care of when he died, and they told him yes she would be well she no longer has dental and she has tricare. up until 7 years ago we thought her medical was taken care of and then she had congestional heart failure and had to have a mechanical heart valve put in and her bill was out of this world so finally since it was the  army's mistake for not telling her they went ahead and helped with the bill and she got the tricare and now has medicare to. What really ticked me off the most was hearing her be told they would no longer let her see a doctor on post because of her age she had to get a doctor off post, the only thing she can have done there is getting her echo's done. It's not right for people who put there time into the military to have what they earned taken away.
Title: Military Benefits, different than when you joined?
Post by: mandie_81z on July 30, 2008, 02:09:03 PM
Same thing with my dad. He has to go to the Lake, Columbia, and Richland. He only has about 20% of his heart working so he has appointments all the time. But he's well taken care of at those places so I can't complain too much. Its just sad that they do that.
Title: Military Benefits, different than when you joined?
Post by: fknarmyguyretired on July 30, 2008, 02:12:02 PM
now this statement is just not accurate for myself or my family,
 
  if it is accurate for you, you have been very lucky
 
If you have tri-care prime, you ALWAYS get an appointment.  It might not be when you want it, but you ALWAYS get one.
Title: Military Benefits, different than when you joined?
Post by: Coyote on July 30, 2008, 02:22:41 PM
Dental care for retirees or their dependents was NEVER a benefit.  The only time dependents get free dental care to this day is when they are accompanying the service member overseas.  That's it.  I don't know who "they" was that told her anything, but to complain of no dental care is obsurd.
 
And Armyguy...you really say that you or your family has tri-care prime and have called for an appointment and are told "no." and that's the end of it.
Title: Military Benefits, different than when you joined?
Post by: Law101 on July 30, 2008, 02:31:22 PM
Not even since WWII. I joined in 1977, and was told i had free medical and dental for life.
Now I have no dental at all through the miltary and have to pay the same rates as anyone, and I have to pay for Tricare Prime medical insurance.
 
I know exactly what you are saying.  Promises have been made to those who have served in almost every conflict and then those promises have been decreased or broken years later, usually during peacefull times.  I think once a promise has been made it should be kept, no matter who was in office at the time it was made. 
Title: Military Benefits, different than when you joined?
Post by: Coyote on July 30, 2008, 02:33:21 PM
I think this is some sort of rumor or "buddy talk."  Nothing has been taken away or changed in a harmful way.  It's only gotten better.  No one has any proof of it otherwise.

I know exactly what you are saying.  Promises have been made to those who have served in almost every conflict and then those promises have been decreased or broken years later, usually during peacefull times.  I think once a promise has been made it should be kept, no matter who was in office at the time it was made. 
Title: Military Benefits, different than when you joined?
Post by: Law101 on July 30, 2008, 02:53:37 PM
My cousin's husband retired about 10 years ago.  He was the oldest Chief Petty Officer in the Navy at the time with 38 years of active duty.  He was promised full medical and dental for himself and family.  At retirement he discovered he had to pay additional for coverage for his wife and dental for both of them. 
Title: Military Benefits, different than when you joined?
Post by: Geezer Glide Taz on July 30, 2008, 03:07:28 PM
I think this is some sort of rumor or "buddy talk."  Nothing has been taken away or changed in a harmful way.  It's only gotten better.  No one has any proof of it otherwise.

No, sorry it was not buddy talk, after the Vietnam was was the beginning of the volenteer Army, and that was one of the sales tools they had back then, which even after 10 years, we were still authorized and that was free medical and dental for life. It was not until the early 90s that we lost our Dental, and Tricare became a thing you had to pay for a few years after that.
Did you also know that a retiree can no longer even use a PX facility overseas?
Say what you want, but but our entitlements are getting less. And you do know that 2009/2010 your tricare price will almost double.
Title: Military Benefits, different than when you joined?
Post by: ~kathy~ on July 30, 2008, 03:12:24 PM
Say what you want, but but our entitlements are getting less. And you do know that 2009/2010 your tricare price will almost double.

That is terrible!!!!!!! I will inform my mom about that. Don't they care about the people that are on a set income?
Title: Military Benefits, different than when you joined?
Post by: Coyote on July 30, 2008, 03:23:00 PM
I retired 10 years ago and free dental was NOT a benefit for the retiree or dependent.  This is well...my cousins wife's brother-in-law said....
Title: Military Benefits, different than when you joined?
Post by: Eeyore on July 30, 2008, 03:27:55 PM
When my husband went on Active duty in 1988 - He too was promised free dental and free medical for himself and his family ---
When he left active duty 12 years later - He still had his care, I no longer had dental.  and so it goes. . .

Now he is in the USAR and we get to pay med insurance like the rest of you - but I like seeing the same Doctor every time.  We are very happy with our Doctors here.
Title: Military Benefits, different than when you joined?
Post by: Coyote on July 30, 2008, 03:32:12 PM
I just want to know who made these "promises" of free dental care for life.  It had to be in writing people.
Title: Re: Military Benefits, different than when you joined?
Post by: Eeyore on July 30, 2008, 03:47:24 PM
I beg to differ - I have seen military dentists at 3 installations.  If there were enough dentists to see the families of the service member they did.  I don't know about here - We were back East at the time.
The Med/Dental Benefits have changed much like retirement pay has changed - this is why when you get the paper work, there are a few different charts depending on your entrance date.
Dental care for retirees or their dependents was NEVER a benefit.  The only time dependents get free dental care to this day is when they are accompanying the service member overseas.  That's it.  I don't know who "they" was that told her anything, but to complain of no dental care is obsurd.
 
And Armyguy...you really say that you or your family has tri-care prime and have called for an appointment and are told "no." and that's the end of it.
Title: Re: Military Benefits, different than when you joined?
Post by: fish on July 30, 2008, 04:05:20 PM
when I was stationed here in the early 80's, routine dental care was available to family members. it was done at harper dental clinic. there was a kids program.
 
retired active duty , it didn't matter then. the dental care was available.
 
medical was always available and there were few off base referrals. Fitzimmons  was used for serious problems. that has been replaced by columbia.
 
I have had very few problems getting appointments with tri care prime.
 
One big benefit though is the prescriptions. that saves a lot. my daughter is type 1 diabetic and the hospital saved a lot on the medications.
 
I don't look at the bx as a benefit as I don't buy much there. too many things are cheaper off base. but the commissary is good.
 
a lot has changed since 1974 when I enlisted though.
Title: Re: Military Benefits, different than when you joined?
Post by: mandie_81z on July 30, 2008, 04:12:14 PM
When we moved back here in 88 we had dental. I remember going to the clinic and getting my teeth cleaned, etc. But then in the 90's it was taken away but I didn't mind, although I wasn't paying so I wouldn't, because they weren't as rough at the new dentist. :) I know a lot has changed since we moved back here. What was promised at sign up I can't say, so I can't get into that argument.
Title: Re: Military Benefits, different than when you joined?
Post by: Coyote on July 30, 2008, 04:19:44 PM
That's great...and back in the 80's, there weren't as many soldiers here like now.  If they can provide dental care that's really great!!!  I agree with that 100%!  But PROMISES of free dental care for life was not made.

I beg to differ - I have seen military dentists at 3 installations.  If there were enough dentists to see the families of the service member they did.  I don't know about here - We were back East at the time.
The Med/Dental Benefits have changed much like retirement pay has changed - this is why when you get the paper work, there are a few different charts depending on your entrance date.
Title: Re: Military Benefits, different than when you joined?
Post by: Eeyore on July 30, 2008, 04:23:11 PM
Yes promises for dental care for soldier and family were stated - for us it was for as long as we were a part of the army.  It was a stated part of the benefits of joining.

That's great...and back in the 80's, there weren't as many soldiers here like now.  If they can provide dental care that's really great!!!  I agree with that 100%!  But PROMISES of free dental care for life was not made.

Title: Re: Military Benefits, different than when you joined?
Post by: Strictly Confidential on July 30, 2008, 04:25:35 PM
1983 - free medical, and 50% of base pay with retirement at 20 years.  At the time I retired the military had 3 different retirement programs - mine, high-3 and then one other.  Mine didn't change, but many of the younger Soldiers got moved to the high3 which on average would mean they got less retirement.
 
Free medical was the deal - I pay 460 a year now for my full coverage - that is an insignificant sum that I don't even notice coming out of my retirement - but the principle of the matter bugs me a great deal - they changed the rules while the game was still being played - let a Soldier decide the terms of their committment are going to change and see what happens, lol.
 
Diability laws continue to change, but thankfully, though painfully slowly, for the better.  It was preposterous that a soldier paid their own disability from their retirement for years and years.  A soldier that lost a leg or arm for example would have 10% of his retirement exempted from taxes - meaning he/she got a break that amounted to wnat, 20,30 or 40 dollars?  Heck of a trade for a limb - compare that to what a civilain employeer would pay... that was a "what the hell are you thinking congres" moment.
 
I pay 960.00 per year for dental, directly out of my retirement - this plan covers me, the wife and my son who is 14.  Not a great plan, but very comparable to what most employeers provide.
 
The only thing I can really complain about is the horrible backlog for appointments at Wood.  4-6 weks is the average wait - my wife had a lump in on of her breasts, confirmed by Mammogram - doctor deemed it highly suspect and  said she needed a biopsy.  The tried to schedule her nine weeks out.
 
Nine weeks to languish and wonder if you have cancer or not - In the end I had to invlolve the patient representative to get her seen in 3 weeks rather than 9.
 
The hospital here is under-staffed for the number of people they serve and they are a victim of their own process.  You can call them and say I need to see this doctor because I have this problem - I know this because I have been seen for it before.  What do they do?  Tell you you must se a general practioner in a clinic (wait for 1-6 weeks for that) who will then confirm that you need to see "that" doctor, and then you can wait another 1-6 weeks for what you know you needed to be seen for in the first place. Then you end up seing a different doctor in order to reduce the wait time from XX weeks to x weeks.  You have to go through your entire history again, and many times fight for your meds - you may walk out with a different treatment plan all together due to this doctors personal opinions about your condition, or what meds he/she like to prescribe...
 
Anyone that deals with Tricare knows how amazingly inept and painful it can be - and they can give you a great synopsis on how horrible government managed healthcare can be...
 
Think of this as a small snapshot of a problem that will grow immensly after we get "national healthcare" managed by the government....
Title: Re: Military Benefits, different than when you joined?
Post by: Geezer Glide Taz on July 30, 2008, 05:00:13 PM
I retired 10 years ago and free dental was NOT a benefit for the retiree or dependent.  This is well...my cousins wife's brother-in-law said....
I am not talking when I retired, that is true, byy the time i retired, in 1998, dental was no longer there, but when i joined in 1977, we were all told by the recruiter and every Army ad showed military retirees getting all this for life. Over the years, these benifits have gotten less and less
Title: Re: Military Benefits, different than when you joined?
Post by: retired1_us on July 30, 2008, 05:32:15 PM
I am not talking when I retired, that is true, byy the time i retired, in 1998, dental was no longer there, but when i joined in 1977, we were all told by the recruiter and every Army ad showed military retirees getting all this for life. Over the years, these benifits have gotten less and less

I enlisted the tail end of '75 and was promised in the same ways.  And yes, the ads were all over the media saying the same things.  It wasn't just the recruiter.  So we didn't read the fine print.  What 17 - 18 year old does?  We were taught (in that era) to trust our government to take care of us.......benefits have eroded and will continue to until someone steps in again to fight for change and reform.

TRI (to) CARE isn't insurance.  It is a management agency.  They manage appointments.  As Coyote said, you can still be seen.  This is true, just not as easily / soon.

I think it ironic and interesting that Ft Knox has a treatment facility devoted to nothing but retirees.  Walk-ins welcome.  TRI CARE free.
Title: Re: Military Benefits, different than when you joined?
Post by: Traveler on July 30, 2008, 05:34:52 PM
When I got married here in 1992 my wife got dental work done at Harper. Shortly thereafter it was a thing of the past.

The only other thing I want to add........

Remember this is the care you get with government run healthcare. Old machines, old technology and short staff.
Title: Re: Military Benefits, different than when you joined?
Post by: fknarmyguyretired on July 30, 2008, 05:42:58 PM
dental was a benifit for dependants on a space available basis, mine used it many times
 
is the second paragraph a ?
 
Dental care for retirees or their dependents was NEVER a benefit.  The only time dependents get free dental care to this day is when they are accompanying the service member overseas.  That's it.  I don't know who "they" was that told her anything, but to complain of no dental care is obsurd.
 
And Armyguy...you really say that you or your family has tri-care prime and have called for an appointment and are told "no." and that's the end of it.
Title: Re: Military Benefits, different than when you joined?
Post by: fknarmyguyretired on July 30, 2008, 05:45:28 PM
then why do I now have to pay for for quality care?  This started well after I enlisted
 
I think this is some sort of rumor or "buddy talk."  Nothing has been taken away or changed in a harmful way.  It's only gotten better.  No one has any proof of it otherwise.

Title: Re: Military Benefits, different than when you joined?
Post by: littlebit on July 30, 2008, 06:18:29 PM
Shouldn't this be under Military opinion?
Title: Re: Military Benefits, different than when you joined?
Post by: Coyote on July 30, 2008, 06:55:41 PM
You don't have to pay for care.  And I would bet someone who doesn't pay for the tri-care prime gets the same quality care.  The only difference is not making appointments.  I had an appointment one day...I went in and there were about 20 retirees signed up and sitting around waiting for their turn.  I went ahead of them all because I had prime and an appointment.  It's the choice you have to make.  If $240 a year just kills you, then don't do it.  Of all the terrific benefits I have from serving...I wouldn't complain at all.  There's just always some disgruntled people who are never satisfied and bad mouths the military and I just get sick of it.

then why do I now have to pay for for quality care?  This started well after I enlisted
 
Title: Re: Military Benefits, different than when you joined?
Post by: Geezer Glide Taz on July 30, 2008, 07:12:03 PM
Coyote,
We are not putting down the service, but the name of this thread is "Military Benefits, different than when you joined?"  and to that question, the answer is a yes, Since I joined, Military Retirees and Military members do not get the same benifits as they did in 1977. All service members and their families got full medical and dental free at one time, now only military members get it. Retirees used to get full Dental and Medical free, now, to get that same medical for my family, I have to pay into Tricare prime, and I have to get civilian dental insurance, because I can no longer use Military installations, and Delta Dental is used by very few good dentists, plus it covers only the basics.
Eye treatment, when i retired, i used to be able to see they eye doctor at a military installation to get checked out and get my perscriptions updated, not any more, I can no longer use them. Yes, I can use Wal-mart, and get treated like cattle being horded through, and every time I go there they screw up on my perscription, and the free check up get made up by the high cost of their glasses.
So yes, Since I joined, we have lost some of our military benifits.
Title: Re: Military Benefits, different than when you joined?
Post by: Just_a_Biker on July 30, 2008, 07:18:16 PM
...  There's just always some disgruntled people who are never satisfied and bad mouths the military and I just get sick of it.


Now, isn't that the pot calling the kettle black?!?!?! 
Disgruntled?
Never satisfied? 
Bad mouthing? 
 
If you added calling other people liars and belittling them for sharing their experiences with others you'd be looking in a mirror...
Title: Re: Military Benefits, different than when you joined?
Post by: Coyote on July 30, 2008, 07:24:00 PM
lol....cut me down for asking for proof?  And never getting it by the way...I never called anyone a liar.  I said they got bad information.  Oh I'm perfectly satisfied with the care I receive and the benefits I got from serving for nearly 24 years. 

Now, isn't that the pot calling the kettle black?!?!?! 
Disgruntled?
Never satisfied? 
Bad mouthing? 
 
If you added calling other people liars and belittling them for sharing their experiences with others you'd be looking in a mirror...
Title: Re: Military Benefits, different than when you joined?
Post by: Coyote on July 30, 2008, 07:35:08 PM
This is a government website....does it look to you like care has gotten better over the years?  And free is still cheap imo.

In 1884, Congress set the stage for a program to serve the Armed Forces' medical needs. It was a very simple statement: “Medical officers of the Army and contract surgeons shall whenever possible attend the families of the officers and soldiers free of charge.”

In 1943, Congress gave the go ahead for the Emergency Maternal and Infant Care Program (EMIC). This program provided maternity and infant care up to one year of age for wives and children of Service members in the four lowest parts of the pay table.

Then, in December of 1956, the Dependents Medical Care Act gave authorization to the DoD so that it could contract medical care out to civilian health care providers in order to insure adequate health care to family members of active duty and retired Service members. Amendments to this Act laid the foundation for what would be called the Civilian Health and Medical Program for the Uniformed Services (CHAMPUS).

After CHAMPUS was official in 1966, it served the uniformed services for over thirty years as a cost sharing program that was used to provide civilian in- and outpatient care, including ambulatory and psychiatric care, for active duty family members when a military facility was unable to do so. CHAMPUS was changed in January 1967 to bring retirees, their family members, and certain surviving family members of deceased uniformed services sponsors into the program.

CHAMPUS needed some improvement.  Thus, during the 1980s, there was the launch of CHAMPUS “demonstration” projects such as the CHAMPUS Reform Initiative (CRI) in 1988. The CRI tested the program in California and Hawaii and offered family members a choice of ways in which they could use their military health care benefits. During the five years of the demonstration, it was very satisfactory.

In 1993, Department of Defense officials saw the current benefits and decided to extend - and improved - the CRI. The new and improved program was renamed TRICARE. 
Just this year, the armed forces have gotten together with one of the world's most renowned health care and insurance companies, Humana, Inc.  At www.humana-military.com (http://www.humana-military.com), you will find Humana Military Health Care Services and all relevant progress that is being made toward transforming TRICARE into a Humana system.
Title: Re: Military Benefits, different than when you joined?
Post by: mandie_81z on July 30, 2008, 07:35:52 PM
But the fact is not all of the people on prime can get an appointment when needed. Somehow you've gotten an easy way through. There's been plenty of "proof" offered from many different people and its as much proof as you've been offering saying you get in right away.
And no one on here is putting down the service or the military in any way. They are just stating that their care has declined. Many of them obviously served earlier than you and were told different things at sign-up than you were. That doesn't make them wrong. But I guess no one is getting anywhere arguing with you about it. In their experience its declined, they've lost benefits, and the hospital is overworked, understaffed, and out of date. In your experience its fine as is and you never have any problems.
Title: Re: Military Benefits, different than when you joined?
Post by: Just_a_Biker on July 30, 2008, 07:45:30 PM
I can't believe that.  ... I really don't think you have your story straight.


Dental care for retirees or their dependents was NEVER a benefit.  The only time dependents get free dental care to this day is when they are accompanying the service member overseas.  That's it.  I don't know who "they" was that told her anything, but to complain of no dental care is obsurd.
 
And Armyguy...you really say that you or your family has tri-care prime and have called for an appointment and are told "no." and that's the end of it.

I think this is some sort of rumor or "buddy talk."  Nothing has been taken away or changed in a harmful way.  It's only gotten better.  No one has any proof of it otherwise.


I retired 10 years ago and free dental was NOT a benefit for the retiree or dependent.  This is well...my cousins wife's brother-in-law said....

... But PROMISES of free dental care for life was not made.


You may not call anyone a liar outright, but it's quite obvious when one goes back and reads your posts.  This is an opinion site, there is no need for those expressing their opinion to be belittled by you, or anyone else, who has a different opinion.  As Mandie says, nearly everyone on this site believes their benefits have declined and / or their benefits are not what they should be (being seen in a timely manner, etc.) except you.  How is it that you have had no problems when everyone else is?  Do you know someone at the hospital?  Do you have a "hookup"?  If so, that's fine, that's the way the system works.  If not, then how about sharing with your fellow retirees how it is that you can be seen when they can't??
Title: Re: Military Benefits, different than when you joined?
Post by: Coyote on July 30, 2008, 08:12:52 PM
I don't have a "hook up" and I don't know anyone at the hospital.  I bought into Tri-Care prime, I call and make my own appointments, get my labwork done without an appointment, make follow-up appointments directly with the receptionist of the clinic I visit, and use the PX for my refills.  I don't think Mandie is a recipient of military medical benefits (just my guess) and really doesn't have inside knowledge on how up-to-date the hospital is or if they are understaffed or overworked...I believe the opposite to be true.  But because I stand up for the benefits I earned and am very fortunate to have, everyone screws with me because I won't agree with them while they put down what the military so generously provides them... because they always want more.
Title: Re: Military Benefits, different than when you joined?
Post by: "DJ" on July 30, 2008, 08:21:14 PM
I am a military retiree dependant. We did have free dental back in the late 70's early 80's(Air Force) and no you can't always get an appointment on post with tricare prime. Just 2 weeks ago I was sent off post to the St. Johns Clinic. I am not complaining and I have always received good care on post. I also appreciate our Commissary benefit but find the PX limited and somewhat expensive.
Title: Re: Military Benefits, different than when you joined?
Post by: Just_a_Biker on July 30, 2008, 08:23:28 PM
I don't think Mandie is a recipient of military medical benefits (just my guess) and really doesn't have inside knowledge on how up-to-date the hospital is or if they are understaffed or overworked...I believe the opposite to be true.  But because I stand up for the benefits I earned and am very fortunate to have, everyone screws with me because I won't agree with them while they put down what the military so generously provides them... because they always want more.

I don't think anyone is "screwing" with you because you won't agree.  It seems that you have great service at the hospital and clinics, which is what all of us want, but the rest of us don't seem to get it. 

I don't think anyone is asking for more, just what they were promised.  If you're OK with paying for something that was promised to be free that's great, but not everyone is.  Personally, I don't think a couple hundred dollars a year is all that bad for insurance, but when you look at the fact that it was supposed to be FREE, it tends to pi$$ most people off.

I haven't read anything on here that would constitute putting down the military, in fact just the opposite.  If anything, people are complaining about, and putting down, our ELECTED officials in the House and Senate who took away the rights and privileges that we were promised.
Title: Re: Military Benefits, different than when you joined?
Post by: mandie_81z on July 30, 2008, 08:58:09 PM
I don't understand why you continue to call me out when you see that others agree with me. But that's fine if that's the way you want to be. I was just at the hosp. today picking my mom up from a procedure it took over a month to schedule and the nurse herself said she had to help in the ER yesterday because they were understaffed and that they are always understaffed. I am a civilian yes but I am an army brat and have stayed close to the military. I choose to work on post because I like being connected to the Armed Forces and serving our service members. Just because I can't get care on post doesn't mean I don't know anything about it.  Now i'm so agitated I had to eat some chocolate. :)
Title: Re: Military Benefits, different than when you joined?
Post by: 12treez on July 30, 2008, 08:59:08 PM
Nicely put.
I don't have a "hook up" and I don't know anyone at the hospital.  I bought into Tri-Care prime, I call and make my own appointments, get my labwork done without an appointment, make follow-up appointments directly with the receptionist of the clinic I visit, and use the PX for my refills.  I don't think Mandie is a recipient of military medical benefits (just my guess) and really doesn't have inside knowledge on how up-to-date the hospital is or if they are understaffed or overworked...I believe the opposite to be true.  But because I stand up for the benefits I earned and am very fortunate to have, everyone screws with me because I won't agree with them while they put down what the military so generously provides them... because they always want more.
Title: Re: Military Benefits, different than when you joined?
Post by: Law101 on July 30, 2008, 09:01:10 PM


"I haven't read anything on here that would constitute putting down the military, in fact just the opposite.  If anything, people are complaining about, and putting down, our ELECTED officials in the House and Senate who took away the rights and privileges that we were promised."

Just a biker got it right.  My comments were not a complaint about the military.  It was a statement about what elected officials in Washington have done to military retirees over the past.  I know it is important to help other countries but sometimes I think what we spend on Forgeign Aid (not military or defense spending) could be curtailed a little instead of cutting promised benefits to our retirees or increasing their share of cost.  There are also other problems in our country that could use some of that money to help solve.  You don't want me to get started on "Pork Barrell" projects that get tied to some of the bills that get passed!

Title: Re: Military Benefits, different than when you joined?
Post by: debhake on July 30, 2008, 09:24:33 PM
I used to work for TriWest.  Remember, the appt clerks can only book what is in the computer.  The providers submit their schedule, it is put into the computer and then the clerks can book.
I would guess their are many providers deployed.  The Guidon has had a few articles in there about the care of the beneficiaries of TriCare Prime.  And they do get to be seen off post if the appt is not available for an acute problem.  Or that is the last I have seen in the paper.
As I understand it, people over 65 with medicare may be seen off post.  Medicare will pay their portion and TriCare will normally pay the rest.  Or so has been the case with my husband as he is disabled. 
I think one reason so many are being seen off post are there are so many active duty and family members now.  Only my opinion.
Some clinics are so understaffed they only see active duty.  I fully understand that.  They are the ones that will be/have been sent to defend our country. 
I know there have been some people that enlisted many years ago and family members that have lost some of their benefits.  Depending on when you enlisted in the military what you were offered.  Some of the seniors were offered a lot more than what is offered today.  And many have seen a decrease in benefits.  I worked at TriWest when the change took place and there were a lot of unhappy people.  Once again TriWest is governed in what they can and can't do.  If I am not mistaken the policy had to go through the house and all to change the benefits of 65 and older. 
I am not saying the TriCare system is without fault...but they do have rules and regulations as in any job.
And no I don't have connections to get appts.!  LOL
Title: Re: Military Benefits, different than when you joined?
Post by: Geezer Glide Taz on July 30, 2008, 09:31:09 PM
And yes, the Hospital is extremely understaffed right now, that can be validated by calling the 800 number to get an appointment, they have a message that even says, we are sorry but the staff at FLW is understaffed, and you may have to be scheduled to see an off post agency
Title: Re: Military Benefits, different than when you joined?
Post by: fish on July 31, 2008, 01:09:24 AM
our managed health care system is also an offshoot of hillary's mess. when it first started we were all supposed to have routine eye exams,hearing tests,and physicals on our birth month. didn't work out that way.
 
when the down sizing took place in the early 90's, we lost many of our best health care professionals along with a lot of other good people. numbers were important. I would  venture to say the proportion of healthcare providers to the military(active and retired) population today is not what it was. There is an increased use of contract doctors on base and referrals off base.
 
keep our elected officials in mind in any discussion of healthcare. why are their benefits superior to those that served their country in the military?
 
I have had very good care in general.
 there were not many promises made in writing when many of us enlisted. recruiters were salesmen doing their job.
 
what can be done now is to protect what we have. I don't expect retired benefits to increase, but I don't want them cut either.
 
 
Title: Re: Military Benefits, different than when you joined?
Post by: debhake on July 31, 2008, 01:53:31 AM
I agree with you "fish".  When you are sitting at the desk of the recruiter or he/she may be at your house or school they will promise you what you want to hear.  They are trying to make their quota.  I bet if you got different people together to tell stories you would hear a lot of differnt things promised by the recruiter.
But bottom line is, as you say, the government and what they want to do with the healthcare system.  Senators, House members, etc. will not have to worry about their healthcare benefits as you said.  It is ones that are out here struggling to put gas in the car and food on the table that will be the ones that are looking yet another problem in the face.
I am not bad mouthing the military in any way.  It paid and continues to pay the bills, put a roof over our head, etc. for about 21 years. 
Title: Re: Military Benefits, different than when you joined?
Post by: fish on July 31, 2008, 02:11:54 AM
and our elected officials don't have to be wounded in action or serve 20 yrs to get those healthcare benefits.
people working on base are serving their country also. many things would not get done to support the military if it weren't for them.
Title: Re: Military Benefits, different than when you joined?
Post by: fknarmyguyretired on July 31, 2008, 02:44:27 AM
thank you
 
Coyote,
We are not putting down the service, but the name of this thread is "Military Benefits, different than when you joined?"  and to that question, the answer is a yes, Since I joined, Military Retirees and Military members do not get the same benifits as they did in 1977. All service members and their families got full medical and dental free at one time, now only military members get it. Retirees used to get full Dental and Medical free, now, to get that same medical for my family, I have to pay into Tricare prime, and I have to get civilian dental insurance, because I can no longer use Military installations, and Delta Dental is used by very few good dentists, plus it covers only the basics.
Eye treatment, when i retired, i used to be able to see they eye doctor at a military installation to get checked out and get my perscriptions updated, not any more, I can no longer use them. Yes, I can use Wal-mart, and get treated like cattle being horded through, and every time I go there they screw up on my perscription, and the free check up get made up by the high cost of their glasses.
So yes, Since I joined, we have lost some of our military benifits.
Title: Re: Military Benefits, different than when you joined?
Post by: fknarmyguyretired on July 31, 2008, 02:49:13 AM
wrong, first of all I haven't seen anyone screwing with you, they are only stating thier opinions and/or experiances only to have you insinuate that they are lying.
 
second, i don't really seeing them putting the benefits down, i'm certianly not, I am just stating an example of why I believe the title of this thread is correct
 
everyone screws with me because I won't agree with them while they put down what the military so generously provides them... because they always want more.
Title: Re: Military Benefits, different than when you joined?
Post by: merrymutts on August 01, 2008, 01:03:59 AM
Thank You, Coyote for your well thought opinions.

I work at the Hospital...and NO, I do not have a special  "IN" if I need to see a provider...I have to wait for an appointment just like every other Prime beneficiary. Thank God I am disgustingly healthy so rarely have to see a doctor except for a yearly eye exam and that wonderful "Annual" that the rest of the ladies have to suffer through.

New providers are coming in but until they get situated it will still take a while to get acute appointments so basically we are still understaffed.

While the patients may not LIKE having to go off Post for care when they cannot get an same-day appointment in the MTF...I am thankful that there is that available alternative and I can get seen and only pay the $ 12.00 co-pay. I can still  get any necessary tests done on post as well as any prescriptions that would be needed...so again....I am happy for that "contingency"  plan.

Frankly folks, I would much rather see a well-staffed, competent Emergency Room...this is a service which is far more important than a Primary (routine) clinic; especially given that we do have the only ER within a 30 mile radius.

And while Tricare could still use some improvements in their processes...by and large it is a much superior system than the old CHAMPUS system and those improvements are well worth the $$$ we pay in annual Prime premiums....JMHO.

Remember....if you ARE referred for a Specialty referral ....please make it easier for yourself and call Release of Information at 573-596-0498 when you get your approval letter from Triwest. You can call Carol or myself, tell us where you are being referred to and what for and we can take your information over the phone and arrange to have medical history pertaining to your referral faxed to the specialists for you or hold the copies for you to pick up. You do not need to physically come into the Hospital to arrange this...this is happily one service we can provide by just a phone call.

The only thing we ask is a little "heads up"; please don't wait until the day of your appointment to do this. Tricare doesn't inform us when these referrals are made and nothing frustrates a patient  more than to drive long distances to a doctor appointment only to find out that they do not have an adequate history available to give to the doctor and they may or may not be able to be seen on that day.

It's not a perfect solution by any means but Carol and I have tried to work this out to where all parties benefit and when we can educate the patients on our "unofficial" system and they find it can work and then they in turn educate others....perhaps the referral system can indeed be improved.
Title: Re: Military Benefits, different than when you joined?
Post by: FedUp on August 01, 2008, 02:16:32 AM
If you have tri-care prime, you ALWAYS get an appointment.  It might not be when you want it, but you ALWAYS get one.  You seem to know quite a bit about what your mom does each and every time....

Not true.  I have called and the schedulers told me their appointments were filled for that month and I would have to call back in a few days.  They only book appointments up to 30 days.  Now, they did allow me to get an appointment off post, that was a $12 copay in addition to what I already pay for TRICARE Prime.  Hardly the head of the line, though I will be fair and say that in 9 years, that's only happened twice.  Still, an appointed with my PCM takes two to three weeks.  If you have civilian insurance, you will get an appointment at St John's clinic a lot quicker. 

I joined in 1972 and I was told when I reenlisted in 1976 that I would have FREE MEDICAL benefits for life (Dental is a medical benefit but one retirees don't get).  Almost $500 a year isn't free, and the current administration wanted to almost double those fees.  Not all of us are retired colonels or generals and have to work when we "retire" just to make ends meet.  I'm not complaining, I enjoyed my 23 years on active duty, but we certainly didn't get what we were promised and the ones serving now don't get what we did....sorry way for a nation to thank those who went in harms way.
Title: Re: Military Benefits, different than when you joined?
Post by: What_The? on August 01, 2008, 07:23:03 PM
With the massive 10 trillion dollar deficit Bush is leaving our children, get ready to watch those bennie's get cut faster than you can say "unfunded mandate."
Title: Re: Military Benefits, different than when you joined?
Post by: Coyote on August 01, 2008, 08:22:24 PM
You can get your eyes checked for free at the Optometrist at the PX.  He is excellent and doesn't "herd you like a cow".  Although I used to use WalMart and never felt that way there either.  The price of glasses has gone up since I joined in 1976...but so has everything, including our retirement check.
Title: Re: Military Benefits, different than when you joined?
Post by: FedUp on August 01, 2008, 11:01:24 PM
You can get your eyes checked for free at the Optometrist at the PX.  He is excellent and doesn't "herd you like a cow".  Although I used to use WalMart and never felt that way there either.  The price of glasses has gone up since I joined in 1976...but so has everything, including our retirement check.

Yea but which has gone up faster, the cost of the glasses, gas, food etc or the amount in the retirement check.  I'll help you, it's limited to a half percent BELOW the CPI
Title: Re: Military Benefits, different than when you joined?
Post by: merrymutts on August 01, 2008, 11:03:12 PM
I paid $ 30 this afternoon but the difference was that I had a contact lens fitting. I got an excellent exam and was able to order my contacts through him and will get them in about 3 days. The price is about the same as it would have been had I ordered them from Vision Direct but the processing time is definitely quicker. He also gave me some samples of Opti-Free solution .
Title: Re: Military Benefits, different than when you joined?
Post by: Pete on August 02, 2008, 07:23:28 PM
If you have tri-care prime, you ALWAYS get an appointment.  It might not be when you want it, but you ALWAYS get one.  You seem to know quite a bit about what your mom does each and every time....

Wrong.....Called two weeks or so for a follow up and was told to try calling the nurse my Dr uses and maybe she can help me. Tri-Care was full until the end of next month. I had to get my blood pressure checked daily for 2 weeks then bring her(DR) my results. After calling the nurse(Got phone message system) 4 days later got called to see another DR I had not seen. Well now he wants me to do this same sh#t again and see him in a month. He also change the meds the last DR changed. This whole system is screwed. Every time you go you see a new DR., when you can see one and he/she wants to reinvent the wheel. They are sure providing the free dental and medical I was promised back in 74. NOT
Title: Re: Military Benefits, different than when you joined?
Post by: FedUp on August 02, 2008, 11:01:27 PM
Wrong.....Called two weeks or so for a follow up and was told to try calling the nurse my Dr uses and maybe she can help me. Tri-Care was full until the end of next month. I had to get my blood pressure checked daily for 2 weeks then bring her(DR) my results. After calling the nurse(Got phone message system) 4 days later got called to see another DR I had not seen. Well now he wants me to do this same sh#t again and see him in a month. He also change the meds the last DR changed. This whole system is screwed. Every time you go you see a new DR., when you can see one and he/she wants to reinvent the wheel. They are sure providing the free dental and medical I was promised back in 74. NOT

Very true Pete.  We sure don't get what was promised to us in the early 70s.  This isn't bashing it's a statement of fact.  Too bad some feel they are the only ones that can be correct.
Title: Re: Military Benefits, different than when you joined?
Post by: merrymutts on August 03, 2008, 01:25:24 AM
FWIW...I remember as a young military bride at Ft Jackson...each clinic had a polite but very explicit sign posted at the desk...outline PRIORITY of care.

Top on the list then...and now ...and should be...Active Duty.

Even back in the 70's the Retirees and their family members were well down on the Priority list...sad but true...but nothing there has changed..except fewer providers and few installations around that can even take care of anyone except the Active Duty military member.

I still contend that even with the premiums...Tricare a much better system than the old Champus...with Champus one had to pretty much have some kind of supplemental private health insurance.
Title: Re: Military Benefits, different than when you joined?
Post by: FedUp on August 04, 2008, 01:04:26 AM
FWIW...I remember as a young military bride at Ft Jackson...each clinic had a polite but very explicit sign posted at the desk...outline PRIORITY of care.

Top on the list then...and now ...and should be...Active Duty.

Even back in the 70's the Retirees and their family members were well down on the Priority list...sad but true...but nothing there has changed..except fewer providers and few installations around that can even take care of anyone except the Active Duty military member.

I still contend that even with the premiums...Tricare a much better system than the old Champus...with Champus one had to pretty much have some kind of supplemental private health insurance.

Merry we're not saying the active folks shouldn't go first.  But the quality and quantity of health care for retirees has gone DOWN.  I used to feel the same way you do, that TRICARE was better than the old CHAMPUS, not sure that is the case anymore, especially with the administration wanting to rates our rates (and it wasn't a small amount either).  In 1996 if TRICARE sent me to a civilian provider my co-pay for that appointment was $5.  Now it's $12.  That's a more than 100% increase, my retired pay hasn't increased by over 100% in that time.  I dont' begrudge our active military a single thing, but if we don't take care of ourselves who is going to? 
Title: Re: Military Benefits, different than when you joined?
Post by: merrymutts on August 06, 2008, 12:02:23 AM
I just had my first experience with that Tricare  Off-Post referral for nonavailability of a same day appointment.
 
Sunday afternoon, I was stung by something ( wasp, yellow jacket.. ??? ) and felt a little dizzy a few minutes afterwards, but attributed that to the heat. I mowed some of our lawn and went back inside to shower, feed the dogs, make dinner for hubby and sat down at the PC.
 
I felt a little itchy and didn't think too much of it until I looked down at my legs and discovered, to my HORROR, that I was now covered with HIVES. Definitely a sign of an allergic reaction. As I wasn't feeling short of breath or had any other symptoms to warrant a trip to the FLW ER, I slapped some Benadryl cream on the hives and rooted through the kitchen cabinets until I found some ( more likely than not very outdated ) cold pills with an antihistamine.
 
It took several hours for the hives to begin to subside but it scared me enough ( my late father had a terrible allergy to insect stings and had to take numerous allergy shots plus carry a bee sting kit with him at all times ) to know that I needed to see a doctor the next day.
 
I called for an appointment just after 7:00 AM and since they could not get me one that day, I was given the option of going to St John's Clinic in St Robert and paying the $ 12.00 copay.
 
I was able to get an appointment there for 8:45 AM with Jeannie Carlton, nurse practitioner, and I gotta tell you all...she was WONDERFUL. She did a good exam and history and reassured me that I had done the right thing as far as home treatment... although she suggested kindly that I please get some FRESH Benadryl to keep on hand and how to take it should I get stung again.
 
So....I had a very POSITIVE experience and I honestly felt that it was well worth it for my peace of mind to pay that $ 12,.00 copay and again, I am surely glad that we do have that option for when we cannot get seen same day by our PCM's...yet what we need to get seen for doesn't warrant a trip to the Emergency Room.
 
I will relay this episode when I have my appointment with my PCM in September and see if perhaps this episode indicates that I may need to get an futher referral to an allergy specialist.
Title: Re: Military Benefits, different than when you joined?
Post by: sskttg on August 11, 2008, 06:39:14 PM
I just got off the phone with Tricare attempting to make appointments for myself and my children and was told every appointment until Sept 8 is booked and I can try to call tomorrow and make an appointment for Sept 9th but there are very few. So lets see my husband is active duty, we do have tricare prime, yes the hospitial is understaffed and its not easy to get appointments.
Title: Re: Military Benefits, different than when you joined?
Post by: FedUp on August 22, 2008, 10:30:09 PM
I just had my first experience with that Tricare  Off-Post referral for nonavailability of a same day appointment.
 
Sunday afternoon, I was stung by something ( wasp, yellow jacket.. ??? ) and felt a little dizzy a few minutes afterwards, but attributed that to the heat. I mowed some of our lawn and went back inside to shower, feed the dogs, make dinner for hubby and sat down at the PC.
 
I felt a little itchy and didn't think too much of it until I looked down at my legs and discovered, to my HORROR, that I was now covered with HIVES. Definitely a sign of an allergic reaction. As I wasn't feeling short of breath or had any other symptoms to warrant a trip to the FLW ER, I slapped some Benadryl cream on the hives and rooted through the kitchen cabinets until I found some ( more likely than not very outdated ) cold pills with an antihistamine.
 
It took several hours for the hives to begin to subside but it scared me enough ( my late father had a terrible allergy to insect stings and had to take numerous allergy shots plus carry a bee sting kit with him at all times ) to know that I needed to see a doctor the next day.
 
I called for an appointment just after 7:00 AM and since they could not get me one that day, I was given the option of going to St John's Clinic in St Robert and paying the $ 12.00 copay.
 
I was able to get an appointment there for 8:45 AM with Jeannie Carlton, nurse practitioner, and I gotta tell you all...she was WONDERFUL. She did a good exam and history and reassured me that I had done the right thing as far as home treatment... although she suggested kindly that I please get some FRESH Benadryl to keep on hand and how to take it should I get stung again.
 
So....I had a very POSITIVE experience and I honestly felt that it was well worth it for my peace of mind to pay that $ 12,.00 copay and again, I am surely glad that we do have that option for when we cannot get seen same day by our PCM's...yet what we need to get seen for doesn't warrant a trip to the Emergency Room.
 
I will relay this episode when I have my appointment with my PCM in September and see if perhaps this episode indicates that I may need to get an futher referral to an allergy specialist.

Yep the local St Johns does a great job and I'm glad I was able to go to them.  But, if I fill out paperwork to be allowed to go to a civilian provider at TRICARE, I have to go to Lebanon or Rolla, I can't go to the local if I'm in TRICARE Prime.  I have to be in TRICARE standard (with the higher copays).  Now, I'm sorry but that just doesn't make sense.
Title: Re: Military Benefits, different than when you joined?
Post by: merrymutts on August 23, 2008, 05:06:08 PM
You got that  right; we should be able to pick a PCM within the Network. Just because we are in the cachement area should not limit us to a PCM on Post if we pay the Prime premiums and have no issue with the co-pay...especially given that we are "short of providers and appointments" . I thinnk many would maybe prefer to see someone who is not going to leave in the next few months or years and have to start all over again.