Health Insurance for Active & Retired Military

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Forum topic by mmh posted 02-15-2009 05:19 PM 6852 views 1 time favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3664 posts in 3143 days

02-15-2009 05:19 PM

Topic tags/keywords: health care health insurance us health plan johns hopkins tricare active military retired military health coverage medical doctors insurance

Since there seems to be a lot of active and retired military here, I thought this may be of interest and possible benefit to many. We are using the medical services of U.S. FAMILY HEALTH PLAN.

“The US Family Health Plan is a specially legislated TRICARE option within the military health system. US Family Health Plan offers TRICARE Prime, a managed care program that provides comprehensive coverage at the lowest cost to members of the three TRICARE options.”

For info visit:
For eligibility visit:

The facilities are usually based in high populated areas near military facilities, so you backwoods people may not have the opportunity to join. But, for those who live in the area of one of their medical offices, you will benefit from decent health services at a very affordable rate. The clinic style facility allows you to see the same primary physician of choice and if you have special needs, you are referred to outside facilities for a specialist or other services, such as scanning, etc.. (It’s similar to any MD’s office where they only do initial consultations and blood drawing and send you elsewhere for X-rays, CAT Scans, etc.)

We have used this service for three years now and they rate as high as the services we used to get via Aetna or Blue Sheild/Blue Cross. There is a difference as that I did have to change physicians and go to the specified facility, but even with special needs I have received top quality care and prompt appointments. The main difference is the cost. We used to pay around $250./month for health insurance, now we pay under $500./YEAR. That’s for two adults. There out minor out of pocket expenses such as co-payments ($12.00-$20.00 visit, depending on service, and Rx’s $3.00/generic; $25.00/name brand.) For the difference of the monthly/yearly costs, I can deal with these changes.

Needless to say, this plan has saved us hundreds (thousands) of dollars each year and I hope this information helps someone out there who has served our country and now needs a break, and well deserved.

We are using the facility working with Johns Hopkins Medical Services Corp. and they are excellent.

-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

7 replies so far

View lew's profile


11264 posts in 3176 days

#1 posted 02-15-2009 05:44 PM

My Dad enrolled in this program (Tricare for Life) after he retired. When he and my Mom reached 65, and Medicare kicked in- they had virtually no out of pocket expenses except the very tiny co-pay on maintenance drugs. Even his cancer treatment and medications were paid. After he passed away, my Mom continues to receive the same benefits.

With the ever increasing cost of health care (ours is $1230/month + $40/ prescription- this year), this is a benefit you shouldn’t pass up!!

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 3165 days

#2 posted 02-15-2009 06:01 PM

I’m in one of the “backwoods” areas. Nearest base is 75 miles away. I use Humanna Military, which is part of the TriCare system. RX is$3-9 and copay is $12. It’s about $84 a month for my wife and me. It is Tricare Prime.

View mmh's profile


3664 posts in 3143 days

#3 posted 02-15-2009 06:51 PM

The Tricare program may be more costly than the plan we have, but it’s still quite reasonable.

-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

View mmh's profile


3664 posts in 3143 days

#4 posted 02-15-2009 09:04 PM

Very interesting. Yes, I would like to hear your view point and experience. It’s a shame that the government is trying to cut corners on those who served, offering their expertise and life for our freedom. The squeeky wheel gets oiled first, so verterans will need to take action for their voices to be heard.

The law firm I used to work for also had Sen. Bob Dole on payroll. When I worked in his office I experienced dealing with the veterans who needed health care but were not getting what they needed. They would call his office thinking that he had ties to Capitol Hill for assistance and all we could do was to listen to them plead for help and thank them for calling. He has since been involved in an effort to help the disabled vets, but I’m sure that the monies and programs are limited as there are so many who need attention, both young and old, and it’s easier for the government to look the other way while these vets die off or find other means or not. War is expensive, not just the current day costs, but the after effects of the lives it touches for many, many years.

-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

View interpim's profile


1158 posts in 2879 days

#5 posted 02-15-2009 09:16 PM

Being Active Duty myself and my family are covered 100% for medical, but dental I am only covered… I have some crappy excuse for dental insurance that the military offers for my family. It is $26 a month and covers $1000 max a year… my wife had a couple of crowns redone and a root canal a couple years ago… I ended up paying about $1500 out of pocket when it came to bill time.

Again I was one of those promised full medical/dental coverage for myself and my family while in the military… I am not dis-pleased with the military, but this is one of those areas that upsets me.

-- San Diego, CA

View feinstein_cabinets's profile


8 posts in 2806 days

#6 posted 02-18-2009 12:08 AM

new to this forum and just had a look around.
thanks for the info mmh. i am a retired marine turned woodworker. this is something i’ll have to look into.
by the way i’m liking this forum. i’m an older guy who is new to this thing. its very useful

-- Let there be sawdust

View stevelcdr's profile


1 post in 2308 days

#7 posted 06-30-2010 09:34 PM

I retired in 2000 as a Commander from the US Navy. I had a 25 year career beginning in 1975 as enlisted and worked my way up through the ranks becoming Chief Petty Officer in 7 years and received my commission after 10 years of service becoming the Senior Electronics Officer for the Navy prior to my retirement.

In 1987 I initially injured my neck, and was finally diagnosed in 1990 with herniated discs at C4 and C5. I was put on limited duty for 6 months in 1991. These injuries were sustained during active duty and were service connected.

Now at age 55 my injuries have worsened causing severe headaches and neck pain, numbness in my hands and pain down the backs of my legs. I went to see a prominent Orthopedic Surgeon, here in Durango, who diagnosed my symptoms as Spinal Stenosis with evidence of increased signal, most notably at C4-5 with evidence of early signs of myelomalacia.

My doctor requested a Cervical Laminectomy at C3 with Laminoplasty at C4 to C7. Given that I am only 55 this procedure would resolve the problem while preserving the mobility of my neck and quality of the active life I have enjoyed and want to continue to enjoy.

This procedure was denied by TriCare Health Insurance (Retired Military insurance) in favor of a Cervical Laminectomy, removal of cervical lamina, basically fusing C4 and C5 which would leave my neck paralyzed and take away any hope of the mobility of movement needed for a productive and active life. My doctor says “given his young age I think a 4 or 5 level laminectomy would not serve him well. He is a very active and healthy 55 year old gentleman and I think the repercussions of this would be significant”

My doctor has had conversations with the Medical Director of TriCare Dr. Hemphill to appeal the decision (we are on the second appeal) but so far they are unwilling to budge on their decision. They refuse to even recognize the Laminoplasty procedure as a covered benefit. The fact that the Laminectomy, an antiquated surgical solution is all they will allow for is not right. Dr Hemphill is not considering the special needs of my individual case in favor of a procedure commonly used since 1950, not taking into consideration new surgical procedures.

When my country needed my service I was there and dedicated my life to the Navy whatever was asked of me. All I am asking in return is that I be given the individual consideration I deserve to live the rest of my life with the quality medical attention I have earned. I should not be resigned to a lesser quality of the rest of my life because the insurance company and VA dictates only this antiquated surgical solution.

Senator Bennet’s office is looking into this but I think that all tax payers should know how all of our Veterans are being treated after serving our country. I am not a special case after talking to the hospital and others it seems to be the norm.
The VA is not keeping up with modern procedures and without updating they are paralyzing Vets all over the country when it’s not necessary. My injuries are service connected and well documented but the government would rather paralyze my neck with an out dated procedure even knowing that the surgery they want me to have is $20,000.00 more expensive. In these days of health care reform shouldn’t the Government be the first to clean house and get out of the 1950’s and learn that there is new technology and better procedures out there. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been told “your so lucky you have the best of health care insurance after your retirement”. I’m here to tell you that we don’t, our health care isn’t even smart enough to keep up with new procedures and technology.

I’m not writing this letter to have anyone help me, I’m writing this to inform everyone that we have thousands of Disabled Vet’s that all need the help of our community to get our government and the VA to do the right thing and help our people. They should be using our local experts and NOT be the overseers with a rule book so archaic that it’s not taking into consideration new and approved procedures.
I failed to mention that I already have a 70% disability and they still will not help me pay for this service connected injury.
How is this taking care of our veterans?

This IS NOT what we were promised when we joined. They are doing this to just about every retired, medically retired disabled vet. THIS IS UNAMERICAN!!!!!

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