Jump to content
AlCherry

Tricare for Life and Medicare

Recommended Posts

In one year my wife and I will be 65. I still don't understand the process to convert from Tricare prime to this Tricare for life and Medicare B. Do I need to go out and purchase Medicare B to supplement Tricare? OR, do nothing and thing will happen automatically?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you are already receiving social security you will automatically be enrolled in Medicare when you become eligible. If you are not, then you will need to apply for both Medicare parts A and B about 2-3 months before you turn 65. I think you can do it online. If not drawing SS, you will have to choose how you will pay for the part B premiums until they can start withdrawing it from your SS. 

Tricare will automatically switch you to TFL once they receive notice of your enrollment in Medicare. I assume you have Express Scripts for medications so you don’t need a part D. TFL is a great supplement for Medicare!

HTH - Vicki 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Are you already receiving Social Security?

I elected to start receiving SS at age 62 as did my wife who is 2 years my junior. I turned 65 this past May and was as confused as you likely are. I am 30% disabled paid and retired after 27 years active and reserve time during a break in service.

I was already receiving SS and I was automatically enrolled in TFL and Medicare Part A and B. I had no paperwork to do. I also got on mailing lists for every insurance company in our Galaxy as a signal to begin deforestation on new sections to cover the paper they were going to begin mailing to me to buy my supplemental insurance from them.

Tricare is your 100% supplemental insurance as long as the item claimed is one covered by Tricare. There are some medical expenses approved by Medicare but not Tricare I guess. I have not run into that yet so I can't tell you what to avoid. You already know if Tricare covers your past bills and that will remain the same.

Since my Significant Harassment of 45 years is two years younger she remains on Tricare until she turns 65 in 2019, at which time she will be under the same system I am.

Relax and if you have a fireplace but no paper shredder get a shredder now so you can turn all that unwanted snail mail into fire starter.

https://tricare.mil/Plans/HealthPlans/TFL

https://www.medicare.gov/supplement-other-insurance/how-medicare-works-with-other-insurance/who-pays-first/which-insurance-pays.html#collapse-2474

So just wait and all your paperwork will come in automatically showing for what you are enrolled.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've heard through the grapevine if you don't get part b, tricare will not cover you at all?  Do you know if this is true?  My wife turns 65 3 years before me, next fall.  Does she have to subscribe to part b, or is it good to go until I turn 65?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, NDBirdman said:

I've heard through the grapevine if you don't get part b, tricare will not cover you at all?  Do you know if this is true?  My wife turns 65 3 years before me, next fall.  Does she have to subscribe to part b, or is it good to go until I turn 65?

 

This is true. In order to retain Tricare For Life, you must have (and pay the premiums for) Medicare Part B. It's an individual thing - your standing with Tricare and Medicare have nothing to do with her (except her eligibility). Her status is dependent on her age.

Rob

Edited by Second Chance

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One thing I have not seen mentioned in this thread is that when you turn 65 you will need to have your ID card re-issued as you will no longer be eligible for Tricare Standard/Prime. And as an aside if it has been a long time since your ID card was issued, the new cards do not show your Social Security number.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
32 minutes ago, Chalkie said:

One thing I have not seen mentioned in this thread is that when you turn 65 you will need to have your ID card re-issued as you will no longer be eligible for Tricare Standard/Prime. And as an aside if it has been a long time since your ID card was issued, the new cards do not show your Social Security number.

 

Good point, I had forgotten about that.  I wonder when turning 65, new ID, no longer Standart/Prime eligible, does a retiree also loose access to military Drs since they all become Medicare dependents now?  I know a few retirees that still use base/post hospitals/medical care.  Will they have to go through the hassle of finding a new Dr or can they stay as is, only the insurance company changes?

I like the idea of loosing the social sec. number from being printed on the cards.  It's not been on my drivers lisc. for a long time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, NDBirdman said:

Good point, I had forgotten about that.  I wonder when turning 65, new ID, no longer Standart/Prime eligible, does a retiree also loose access to military Drs since they all become Medicare dependents now?   I know a few retirees that still use base/post hospitals/medical care.  Will they have to go through the hassle of finding a new Dr or can they stay as is, only the insurance company changes? Not necessarily, it depends on the MTF. Sometimes retirees are forced into the civilian sector and sometimes not and it really has nothing to do with age. The DW and I have the USAF Academy for our Primary Care and have had for years. I do know that the MTF bills Medicare for part of our expenses now that we are over 65.

I like the idea of loosing the social sec. number from being printed on the cards.  It's not been on my drivers lisc. for a long time. My state, Colorado, did away with SSAN on licenses a number of years ago due to privacy concerns. One thing they do on the licenses now is show your status as a veteran and with which service.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

TFL is based on the sponsors status.  If you as the sponsor (ie retired member) decline to take part B of Medicare which is the part you pay for  ($108 a month now I believe) then your wife/husband is not eligible for TFL.  Everyone is eligible for Part A at no cost to the individual.  In my case I am 67 and have never used Medicare because the VA provides all my medical needs.  However if I did not sign up for the part B  in Medicare and start paying the $108 a month then the wife was not eligible for TFL.  So I pay the $108 every month and have for 2 years and never used it.  But I have it incase during our travels I need a Doctor  and I am not close to a VA facility.

 

Dennis

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

DJW, this is what gets my goose.  I am also at 100% VA so I get all my care from them.  As such, I and others in my group should NOT have to pay the part b, we should be exempt without our spouses loosing TFL.  I have no problem with having to pay for my wife, or she paying for it out of her SS check, but to take it out of a 100% covered vet, is in my books downright theft from my pocket.  I have not nor will ever use medicare or part b (hopefully).  Granted that's not a lot of $$, it's just the point they do it needlessly so.  Taking it from the wife's check, and mine, it ends up costing over $200/month for what is essentially a supplement.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

NDBirdman
 

While I kinda agree with you I don't.  Your 100 percent is only good at a VA facility.  If you are several hundred miles from a VA facility when you have let's say a massive heart attack.  Do you want to get handed a bill after the local EMT's transport you to the local hospital?  Are you going to say take me someplace free I will take the chance that I live until I reach there?  And when you get there are you sure that the Doc who is treating you has not killed 10 other people and the VA was his last chance?  Pay the $108 a month and thank God you live in a country that gives you those choices.  I went from $237 a year for Tricare Prime for the DW to $2592 for the both of us a year.  Yes it rubs me wrong as well but $2592 a year for 100 percent medical insurance including drugs is a whole lot cheaper than most folks are paying.  I know folks paying that a month and that is after they pay the first 5-10K out of pocket.  It's a good deal just go with it.  Take some more BP med's and let it go.

 

Dennis

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, DJW said:

Pay the $108 a month and thank God you live in a country that gives you those choices.  I went from $237 a year for Tricare Prime for the DW to $2592 for the both of us a year.  Yes it rubs me wrong as well but $2592 a year for 100 percent medical insurance including drugs is a whole lot cheaper than most folks are paying

How true! I could go to the VA but have not, and will not, set foot in one of their facilities. I know folks that are very happy with VA care and at the same time know folks that are not. Too much bad press over the years for me. I know that not all active duty physicians are at the top of their field but over the years we have had many highly qualified and excellent doctors in the military both while I was active duty and since I have been retired. The nice thing about Tricare For Life is that it is good anywhere that Medicare is accepted. Since you do not need referrals to specialists for most Medicare coverage you can see the specialist you think you need as long as they will set you an appointment. 

There have been threads on these forums about folks with VA coverage having to jump through hoops to be seen outside of their area even though they are seeking care at another VA facility. You should carefully do your homework on this subject if you are planning on much travel.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was promised cost to me free health care for life for me and my spousal unit if I served 20 years or more, as I did. 

That still chaps my ass. Then the $134.00 a month was a slap in the face, I agree.

Wait until the new tax laws kick in. They moved the full age for Social Security from 65 to 66, so the position I was offered last year, and was holding off on until I hit 65, when no matter how much I earned there would be no deductions from my SS, is off now until next year.

I get a bit fed up with us being treated like takers, when we paid into SS, and earned our retirements the hard way - in military service. Oh well, we get what we voted for.

Edited by RV_

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

RV

They changed our full retirement age to 66 what 25-30 years ago?  That should not have been any big surprise.  While I really don't like paying the $108 a month on the one hand but on the other I really don't care.   I look at it like I have been so blessed to be able to have lived the life I/we have in this country that I am more than willing to give $2592 back a year to make up for the 32 years my Great Grandfather received SS after only paying into it 5 years.  It's only Money and to me money is a "Renewable Resource" provided to me on a "As Needed"  basis by "The Lord"

Dennis

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I used to work at the Va as a RN. I will not be hospitalized at a VA facility. I do go to the VA clinic for my pain meds since I only have to bee seen every 6months to receive them. I am on Medicare since I am on disability. I receive my military retirement March 1. I will also start Tricare prime. I have a few questions. As a cancer patient, what things won’t Tricare Prime pay for? My maintenance chemo drugs are $16,000 per month. Is there a medication plan and how much is it? My wife can’t go on Tricare Prime since she isn’t on Medicare yet, has 4more years. Since we travel full time, which flavor of Tricare is the best for her and what is the monthly cost? I know I could call the Tricare nu,bed but I want real life experiences, not so,e govern,ent worker that I am taking up their valuble time. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dennis,

I was told by a guy on the phone with the SS that it was 65 but it appears my birthday is 66. I got a snail mail today telling me about how there is a 2% COLA raise starting in January, 2018. It made it sound like the change was just made. But you're right. Reagan both raised the FRA age, and made SS taxable for the first time.

Dennis, it isn't about the money for me. It's about honest brokerage, honorable transparency. I've been fortunate to be "gifted" and able to research and take calculated risks my whole life. Along with several windfalls I'm set. But some of our brothers and sisters in arms weren't as fortunate financially. Many are scarred and physically in need. Some struggle daily and some give up. They invented bone spurs to evade the draft that I and others were honest and 1A. I was a draft dodger and ran to the USAF before the draft took me with no choice in guaranteed jobs like enlistment offered. 

Those of us who are fortunate can fight for those struggling. We are, when all is said and done, military family.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Ronbo, I can't answer your questions but will tell a short story about my wife's meds when she was hospitalized for heart problems.  Fast forward, checked out and received prescriptions to control her heart.  Tri-care fought the meds the Dr ordered and demanded she get the generic versions of it first.  Her Dr even called them and told them that would not work, she needed very specific meds that generic side did not cover.  They still fought, did not want to give them to her first, demanded she went the cheap pills first.  In the end, a very good Dr my wife had won out in the end and we got her going good, semi straightened out.  

Just be aware of that if/when you go on tri-care, they will try to put you on generic meds, some are good, some are weak.  Be ready to have Dr stand up to them for you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ronbo,

Your current doctor likely has other patients on Tricare and can answer some, but just call Tricare. They changed from Prime, Standard, and Extra, to only two types, Prime and the new category: "Starting Jan. 1, Tricare's Extra and Standard plans will be rolled into one system known as Tricare Select, thanks to legislation passed by Congress last year."

Source: https://www.military.com/daily-news/2017/10/06/heres-how-2018-tricare-changes-impact-retirees.html

Tricare phone help has always been helpful for us: https://tricare.mil/ContactUs

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Chalkie said:

There have been threads on these forums about folks with VA coverage having to jump through hoops to be seen outside of their area even though they are seeking care at another VA facility. You should carefully do your homework on this subject if you are planning on much travel.

I've seriously thought about not going back to them and just use my Tri-Care.  Being retired, If I'm not near a VA facility, I should (?) be able to just file under Tri-Care if need be.  I just turned 60 so a couple years before I get to go under Medicare (wife is older than me and will go on it pretty soon).  I kinda wonder if I should back up the statements I've made and use Medicare & Tricare when I get there.  The clinic here was good, had a great Dr but he retired.  The one I have now is swiftly alienating most vets with her bad.... bedside manners so to speak.

I do have a friend that needed an ambulance ride not to long ago.  They took him to the hospital an hour away.  When VA got the bill, they said EFF YOU!  They said he could have made the ride to the VA hospital albeit another 1.5 hours away.  They sent him the hospital bill and ride bill.  Right now he's trying to figure out how to pay over $30k for just the ride.  Yea, you have to be careful with the VA, know where they are and if possible, they do have a number to check in and get their permission first.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, NDBirdman said:

I do have a friend that needed an ambulance ride not to long ago.  They took him to the hospital an hour away.  When VA got the bill, they said EFF YOU!  They said he could have made the ride to the VA hospital albeit another 1.5 hours away.  They sent him the hospital bill and ride bill.  Right now he's trying to figure out how to pay over $30k for just the ride.  Yea, you have to be careful with the VA, know where they are and if possible, they do have a number to check in and get their permission first.

4 things;

1, have your friend keep kicking it back to the VA, regardless of how many times he is rejected

2., have him call the ambulance company/customer service/billing number on the bill and tell them he has to pay the cost out-of-pocket.  Sometimes the costs will be drastically reduced if not covered by insurance.

3., have him contact his Congressman/Senator about the VA shafting him.  If his doctor says the 1 1/2 extra drive could have killed him or caused other serious issues, he is in a stronger position.

4., have him contact a local tv station with one of those consumer protection reporters.  If they find the story interesting, they may take up the mantle and get him some relief.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 NDBirdman

or

5:  Tell your friend to put his big boy pants on and pay the bill.  It's stories just like this that folks want to use to make it sound like the VA screwed them.  It sounds like he rolled the dice and did not have other insurance to cover him even when he was not close to a VA facility and when you bet against the house you more often then not lose.  It's not the Governments responsibility to pay for our own stupidity.  As far as your TFL.  If you just turned 60 then don't worry about it.  By the time you turn 65 and are eligible the whole game will have changed several times over.

Dennis

Edited by DJW

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bird,an, thanks. I will keep my prescription coverage for my chemo drugs. It took my dr 4 months to get them approved through Humana and I don’t want to go through that again. At least I shouldn’t have any out of pocket expenses for care or meds. I will call Mutual of Omaha and talk to the, about stopping my supplement in March. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, DJW said:

 NDBirdman

or

5:  Tell your friend to put his big boy pants on and pay the bill.  It's stories just like this that folks want to use to make it sound like the VA screwed them.  It sounds like he rolled the dice and did not have other insurance to cover him even when he was not close to a VA facility and when you bet against the house you more often then not lose.  It's not the Governments responsibility to pay for our own stupidity.  As far as your TFL.  If you just turned 60 then don't worry about it.  By the time you turn 65 and are eligible the whole game will have changed several times over.

Dennis

Hate to say it, but my wife and I kinda said the same thing.  My point to him was, you were not dying, why the heck not call one of us for a ride?  Also told him he should have made the call to the VA first.  If I sounded like it was the VAs fault, that's my bad.  I would have made the phone call first to get authorized but in all likely hood, I would have called my wife or one of my friends for a ride.  I'm just saying, check first, the VA can, and has proven it, tell whomever to Eff Off it's your problem.

 

 

Edited by NDBirdman

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

RVers Online University

campgroundviews.com

Our program provides accurate individual wheel weights for your RV, toad, and tow vehicle, and will help you trim the pounds if you need to.

Rv Share

Dish For My RV.

Find out more or sign up for Escapees RV'ers Bootcamp.

Advertise your product or service here.



×