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Tricare Reserve Select vs. Civilian Employer Coverage

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  • Tricare Reserve Select vs. Civilian Employer Coverage

    I'm relatively new to the National Guard (came from AD USAF) and I've been on TRS for a few months but not needed to use any of it's benefits thankfully. I have now started a new civilian job that also offers health insurance (PPO plan or an HSA high deductible plan, but that's another question). I'm debating the differences between the PPO and HSA separately, but first I'd like to decide if I should stick with TRS or just go with my employer's plan. Basically my employers plan seems very similar in every aspect of coverage and costs. Is there any benefit to sticking with TRS, or going with my employer's plan?

    Any help is appreciated. Thanks!

  • #2
    One minor advantage to TRS is that you would maintain the same coverage if you changed employers. Additionally, since you don't need employer coverage, your employer is thus saving money on you, and theoretically could afford to pay you some other benefit (e.g., disability insurance, increased retirement contribution). You may wish to enquire about this.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by matthew.ritchie View Post
      One minor advantage to TRS is that you would maintain the same coverage if you changed employers. Additionally, since you don't need employer coverage, your employer is thus saving money on you, and theoretically could afford to pay you some other benefit (e.g., disability insurance, increased retirement contribution). You may wish to enquire about this.
      I'm intending to stay with this employer for quite a long time; unless things change drastically it should all work out. It's a large company, subsidary to General Dynamics, so I'm doubtful that they would increase one of my other benefits if I choose to stick with TRS. Any experience with this? Regardless, I'll ask about it and just see what happens. Any further info is appreciated.

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      • #4
        Typically a company decides how much they want to compensate an individual, and then how they will manifest that compensation. Whether they give a $1000 to the insurance company on your behalf, or directly to you, it still costs them $1000. My mother's old employer gave her additional benefits because it was cheaper for her to go on her husband's health plan, and it effectively cost the company nothing, because all the did was redirect money they would have spent on her anyway. You may wish to enquire of your benefits manager or HR rep. The worst thing that happens is nothing. Before you go, you may wish to decide what you want -- disability insurance, life insurance, increased retirement contribution, extra vacation days, specialized additional health coverage, ...

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        • #5
          My employer has very good medical plans but I still use TRS. My employer plans are more than 3 times the monthly costs of TRS and the deductible is MUCH higher. TRS is actually a very good plan. Only downside I have found to it is that the provider network is small (but getting better) so you have to shop around for a good primary care provider.

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          • #6
            After looking into it, sure enough, they actually provide a credit to me each week if I opt-out of their insurance. That credit is almost enough to pay for TRS which equates to a great deal for me. I also was able to add my employers dental plan since it is somewhat better than what is offered by Tricare Dental. Thanks for the tips!

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