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Going to BCT, Baby on the way (Health Care Concerns)

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  • Going to BCT, Baby on the way (Health Care Concerns)

    I'm shipping for basic training in about a month and recently found out my wife and I have a baby on the way. We're currently enrolled in medicaid to pay for health expenses, but I've got a lot of questions concerning the sort of health care she'll receive once I go active duty during training. Has anyone else had a similar experience? Will the active duty insurance cover all costs or will there be costs left to us? Also, will she be able to see any doctor or will she have to change her doctor?

    I'll be returning from active duty just a couple of weeks before the expected birth of the baby. I've taken a look at TRICARE benefits, what experience have you had with TRICARE and maternity?

    Thank you in advance.

  • #2
    Re: Going to BCT, Baby on the way (Health Care Concerns)

    Your wife and baby are eligible to be covered under your insurance while you are at BCT/AIT. They need to be enrolled into DEERS to receive these benefits. One way of doing this (and also how to get them a military ID which may be required for some of their benefits while you are away) is to go to a RAPIDS location (place you an get your ID) and bring in your information as well as her SS card, marriage license, birth certs, her drivers lisence..copies of these and her of course for the picture ID. At the time you mention you need to enroll her into DEERS and provide the additional info they ask for which can vary slightly. After you are not training full time, the health care if available at a cost, less then most civilian insurances. You can also take care of ths at BCT, however, you are MUCH better off to do it beforehand. If you dont do it before, make sure to take copies of all that with you.

    Last time I used the insurance you get when 'active' all I needed was my SS number, however,the place I was at wasnt entirely familiar with the insurance and having my ID helped greatly. It may have changed since but that can easily be found out.

    Also ask the RAPIDS Operator to print out an 1172 (a form) for the family. One for you, one for her. Keep copies with you and at home when you leave. Some Operators dont nkow, but make sure they have signed them before you leave. Most times when you need the form in the future, they will over look it, but the by the book people will not take it. It may be needed for DEERS and IDs in the future.

    Dang it now I have to take it further, i've edited like a zillion times already adding info. It is someones responsibility to square you away paperwork wise before you leave (although generally more chances along the road, just not as easy) but make sure you have your will, finances, power of attorny, SGLI, ... good to go before you leave. If you dont go over some sort of checklist before you go, bring it up to your chain of command, it needs to get done.
    Last edited by WIBecky74; January 30th, 2011, 06:53 PM.

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    • #3
      Re: Going to BCT, Baby on the way (Health Care Concerns)

      WIBecky gave you some great advice, but I'll add. Inform everyone in your chain of command as soon as possible, RSP/recruiter. They will most likely ensure that everything you do need is completed.

      And Congratulations!!

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      • #4
        Re: Going to BCT, Baby on the way (Health Care Concerns)

        Thank you Becky, you've been really helpful. I'll call my recruiter today and see which RAPIDS station I need to go to, Marine2Guard, and thanks for the congratulations!

        So, once we're covered under the TRICARE my wife will be able to go to the civilian doctor of her choice and deliver the baby with her doctor, right? I've heard rumors she'd have to deliver at a VA hospital near a base.

        I'm no longer going to be active duty around the time the baby should come. There shouldn't be a lapse of coverage if I enroll in the TRICARE for reserve, right? Deliveries are generally expensive and from glimpsing over the TRICARE plan options most of them seem to require a 15-20% cost payment from me. What experience have any of you had using the reserve health care?

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        • #5
          Re: Going to BCT, Baby on the way (Health Care Concerns)

          I had tricare reserve when my second was born. My wife continued to use her own DR. and delivered at the hospital she wanted. I don't remember the exact amount we had to pay, but I know it wasn't but a couple of hundred bucks. As far as a lapse of coverage, just make sure you call tricare as soon as you do get off active duty and you won't have a lapse.

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          • #6
            Re: Going to BCT, Baby on the way (Health Care Concerns)

            For some background - I had Baby #1 on student insurance through the university (which was really similar to TRS, but no out-of-pocket cap), and started pregnancy with Baby #2 on TRS, delivered on Tricare Prime, so I've seen the health insurance world.

            Originally posted by JaywalkerX View Post
            So, once we're covered under the TRICARE my wife will be able to go to the civilian doctor of her choice and deliver the baby with her doctor, right?
            If she's on Tricare PRIME, no. You have to use a MTF (military treatment facility, VA hospital, etc) if you are on tricare prime (if an MTF is available. Sometimes there isn't enough space, and the space is reserved for service members. She'll need to call Tricare/go into a Tricare office to request a PCM, then she will have to get authorization to go to an OB. Unless you live very close to a very large MTF or VA hospital, she'll probably end up going to a civilian OB.

            I've heard rumors she'd have to deliver at a VA hospital near a base.
            Only if you are on Tricare PRIME when she delivers, and only if there is space for family members.

            There shouldn't be a lapse of coverage if I enroll in the TRICARE for reserve, right?
            TRS doesn't really care about lapse of coverage or pre-exisiting conditions. I think for the most part (someone correct me if I'm wrong) you qualify for TRS by virtue of having sold your soul to the Govt for 6-8 years

            Deliveries are generally expensive and from glimpsing over the TRICARE plan options most of them seem to require a 15-20% cost payment from me. What experience have any of you had using the reserve health care?
            Since I delivered when I was on Prime, I didn't really have a lot of experience with using TRS for the delivery. Most OBs offices will charge a "global delivery" fee that includes all of your Drs visits, and isn't billed to your insurance until after the delivery. Most Dr's offices will make you pre-pay your cost share for a delivery. I wonder, though, if you could get them to bill the Dr's visits to Tricare PRIME while you are at BCT/AIT and deduct that from your "global fee" for the delivery. It's worth asking the billing folks at your Dr's office.

            I had Dr's visits while I was on TRS (only one or two) and I didn't end up having to pay anything for them, since we moved and I had a different Dr for the delivery.

            I've PM'd you a few more details about tips on having a baby when you have insurance with a cost share.

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            • #7
              Re: Going to BCT, Baby on the way (Health Care Concerns)

              Its ironic that I see this thread now. Last week, a soldier told me that one of his troops is now claiming to be a conscientious objector. He is fresh out of AIT and his wife gave birth last month. He requested to see the Chaplain about this. He confided in one of his battle buddies that he joined the Army so he can get birth paid by the military and get out and try to get VA benefits.

              His leadership is trying to explain to him about the medical costs do not end after birth and hopefully he can find a good civilian job with decent medical benefits.

              But just hearing if this was his true intent makes me feel very sorry for this individual. I pray for his spouse and new born.

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              • #8
                Re: Going to BCT, Baby on the way (Health Care Concerns)

                Originally posted by fmcityslicker View Post
                Its ironic that I see this thread now. Last week, a soldier told me that one of his troops is now claiming to be a conscientious objector.
                It's not easiest thing to get out on CO status. We processed one before we deployed, but the person had to jump through so many hoops it was crazy. They wrote like a 10 page paper explaining their position. We had another person try to claim it and they ended up getting deployed but were placed in a non combatant role until their case was finalized.

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                • #9
                  Re: Going to BCT, Baby on the way (Health Care Concerns)

                  Originally posted by fmcityslicker View Post
                  Its ironic that I see this thread now. Last week, a soldier told me that one of his troops is now claiming to be a conscientious objector. He is fresh out of AIT and his wife gave birth last month. He requested to see the Chaplain about this. He confided in one of his battle buddies that he joined the Army so he can get birth paid by the military and get out and try to get VA benefits.

                  His leadership is trying to explain to him about the medical costs do not end after birth and hopefully he can find a good civilian job with decent medical benefits.

                  But just hearing if this was his true intent makes me feel very sorry for this individual. I pray for his spouse and new born.
                  Or plan B....Do the alternative American dream get that medical/Rx/dental card that the HHS provides and become one of the 50% of americans and not pay taxes and complain about super rich that don't pay enough... go get them grub stubs, and check. Most states pay for higher education/car repairs/day care....not bad gig at all. JK...not really

                  I concur I feel sorry but that is the sign of times.....What people will do for table scraps from Uncle Sugar sad isn't it? Children deserve a much better future.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Going to BCT, Baby on the way (Health Care Concerns)

                    Thank you, Rowley, you've been very helpful.

                    Haha, I didn't join up just for the healthcare, I'm in it for the long haul. I want that nice retirement plan...

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                    • #11
                      Re: Going to BCT, Baby on the way (Health Care Concerns)

                      Well, quick update on my situation: I drove 1hr30min to the RAPIDS station and was turned away. I was told I could not input a dependent into DEERS until a week or so after I left for basic training. So I had to go get a special power of attorney so that my wife could go to the base and add herself to DEERS after I'm gone. Complete waste of time, and an utterly intimidating experience for a wet-behind-the-ears PFC. I was afraid of all of the chevrons and bucklers walking around and not entirely sure how to conduct myself.

                      I really hope that everything pans out once I leave for basic. It would be awful if my pregnant wife was not able to get proper medical care because of some sort of Army paperwork mishap.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Going to BCT, Baby on the way (Health Care Concerns)

                        You couldn't add your wife to DEERS before you left for BCT?

                        That sounds odd to me... as far as I know, both me and our first were in DEERS before my DH left for BCT. We were on Tricare Reserve Select, after all... and I think we would have to be in DEERS for that. And I had an ID card as soon as he enlisted in the Guard (he was in RSP for about 8 mos before he left for BCT due to finishing school).

                        She shouldn't have a problem if she has POA (I never did - I used POA to add our new baby to DEERS when DH was at DLI and in class all the time), but technically she should be in DEERS already and should have a Reserve Spouse ID card.

                        And as far as proper medical care, I wouldn't worry about it - she should be fine, and from my experience, the Tricare people are really great about getting things paid for that deserve to be paid for. Recently I had to go to urgent care for something in the late evening, and I was supposed to call Tricare afterwards to let them know, but I spaced it and didn't think about it again until I got the EOB a week or so later. I felt bad for not calling, because you're supposed to, but they took care of it. Maybe it's just TriWest (the Tricare provider in the western states) but so far all my experiences with them have been great.

                        Good luck with everything!

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