Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
remoandiris

Tricare Select vs. Prime for traveling fulltimers

Recommended Posts

A search of the forum didn't provide any info on this.

For you full timers who travel and have Tricare Select, how well has it served your medical needs?  If you were previously on Prime, has Select been more or less useful?  Has Select been more or less cost effective?

Over the past 4 years we have part timed and had good results with Prime, but I am wondering if Select is better when we fulltime next year.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry, Tricare For Life (TFL) here from 2017 when they made all the changes from Tricare standard to select. It's sometimes best to call Tricare for those answers. My wife turns 65 in six months too.

Back when wwe were fulltiming we did standard because there was a problem with changing Tricare regions too often.

Edited by RV_

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We had the same question this morning and searched the site for answers... We plan to go full-time in 2019 and were wondering about the "ups-and-downs" involving Tricare while underway. Any guidance/insight in this matter is welcomed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't believe none of the currently active full time RVrs who retired from the military aren't jumping in. First off you have the VA too so get a VA card listing your disabilities if any. Prime will want in more in-system providers and long ago when we fulltimed for seven years, on retiring from a 27 year USAF Career at age 45, we moved into our RV in 1997. Back then Tricare was strict about getting care outside your zone. Now with fewer Tricare regions, it may be better. We chose Tricare standard because we were and are healthy. Back then you did not prepay the $150 each initial fee, but only if you went to the doctor's. There were many years we only paid $150 and a co-pay or two for Lynn's female preventive maintenance on equipment I don't have.

We are now TFL (Tricare For Life) which is a hybrid between Tricare and medicare that kicks in at 65.

I can tell you what you need to research.

First make an appointment and get your VA rating if any or sign up and get your VA card.

Next check with Tricare and ask them what the issues will be if you travel across the country in your retirement. If with Prime you have to use a Primary care physician in the Tricare approved list, that can be a PITA when you are across the country from them. Here is a page with the traveling restrictions today. As I said, you will need to read and plug in your facts etc. to see which will serve you best.

I do not know which applies any more but if you are healthy and in your lower 40s or upper 30s remember that once you have paid $3k in any year (the catastrophic cap) you have no more co-pays in that fiscal year, which are now calendar years if I am remembering correctly.. That may or may not have changed. But that means that if you have at least $3k set aside for any catastrophic illness you are set.

So if you are fulltiming you need to find which does not penalize you, or shockingly not cover you when you are out of your home Tricare region. There may be no differences in being covered, just annual fees and co-pays. If you are very healthy like we were remember you can change plans every year and only stand to lose the Catastrophic cap amount.

Go here: https://tricare.mil/CoveredServices/BenefitUpdates/Archives/08_17_18_TRICARE_Catastrophic_Cap

One group has my group's $3k cap, the other group $3500.00

They have new rules for you younger guys. Once you do due diligence, post back here for the folks following you.

Hope that helps.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Since you guys are about to retire from the military take heed of this too:

Chief Wright to Airmen: Know your retirement options

Since we are getting questions from military folks interested in full time RVing right away like I did at age 45, I thought I'd pass this along too.

I'll just excerpt this and let the about to retire guys read the source article:

Excerpt:

" Beginning Jan. 1, 2018, the Department of Defense will transition to the Blended Retirement System. If you haven’t heard about BRS, you need to get up to speed now and learn all you can. I need each of you to take an active interest in your financial planning by using every resource we’ve made available to learn about the BRS.

The BRS gives Airmen an opportunity to save their money in a portable Thrift Savings Plan while receiving matching government funds at the same time. This is the most basic layman’s description of the program, which is why I need you to arm yourselves with all of the research and information available. To help you, our Air Force leaders have put together a team of experts ready to provide extensive training. Certified personal financial counselors are available at your Airman and Family Readiness Center. These experts cannot decide for you, but they can help you evaluate which retirement plan is best for you. Every Airman’s situation is different, financial goals are unique to each Airman and there is no “one size fits all” decision.

Airmen who enter the Air Force on or after Jan. 1, 2018, are automatically covered by the BRS. Active component Airmen serving now and those who enter the Air Force on or before Dec. 31, 2017, will be grandfathered under the current retirement system. Airmen with fewer than 12 years of active service on Dec. 31, 2017, or Reserve Component Airmen with fewer than 4,320 retirement points as of Dec. 31, 2017, have the choice to opt into the BRS. Reserve Component members’ “retirement points” and retirement eligibility for the defined benefit are the same under the BRS as under the current retirement systems. The opt-in window for BRS will run from January 1, 2018 through December 31, 2018.

Make your decision knowing only you can determine which system is best for you, and understand that if you opt into BRS, it is irrevocable. You only have one chance to make this choice, so it’s imperative you and those involved in making financial decisions for your family fully understand the pros and cons of both retirement systems.

I encourage each of you to take all of the training available on ADLS and utilize the BRS comparison calculator on the Military Compensation website (http://militarypay.defense.gov/Calculators/) before making an appointment with your base financial counselor. The calculator provides a comparison between the current retirement system and the BRS. Doing your homework and preparing your questions ahead of time will help you get the most from your financial counseling appointment. I would like to see all eligible Airmen trained as soon as possible to give everyone time to really think about their options and be fully prepared before making this life-impacting decision. "

Source:

https://www.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/1387709/chief-wright-to-airmen-know-your-retirement-options/

 

Edited by RV_

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tricare prime you have a list of PCP’s. Tricare Select you can go to the provider of your choice. If traveling, prime may not have a provider in your area. You will then have a higher copay. With select you just go to any provider that accepts tricare. 

Edited by Ronbo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/8/2018 at 12:34 PM, Ronbo said:

 If traveling, prime may not have a provider in your area. You will then have a higher copay. 

Nice thing about Prime is 6 urgent care visits are allowed a year.  Have used 1 visit a year the past 3 or 4 years when traveling.  Tricare East (or was it Tricare South) has been VERY easy to work with when we were in the west region the past 3 years, too.     

Once we go FT, we'll transfer to Tricare West.  We'll be in that region a LOT more than East.  We'll probably stay in Prime.  IDK if the costs for Prime vs. Select will be much different.  We'll probably have a PCM in Az and take care of tests and such during the winter.  Summertime will be travel and maybe workamp. 

Kinda done with letting health concerns control the schedule.  Gonna die someday.  Want to enjoy what I can while I can.

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
Sign in to follow this  

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.



×