In Iraq for 365

About my experiences in Iraq... the frustrations, the missions and this country... and the journey home

Saturday, November 05, 2005

TriCare

Insurance. It’s something we must have, to protect us, to give us comfort.

But, man, it is a pain in the ass when you need to file a claim. If you’ve ever dealt with insurance claims, you know what I’m talking about. I’ve always had cheap insurance, so I’ve never known the customer service of Allstate or State Farm (according to their commercials, at least.) Once I wrecked my car and my agent said I shouldn’t have wrecked it. Now that’s service! Even still, that insurance company was hardly the worst I’ve worked with.

Civilians have no idea what bad insurance is.

The military’s provider is called TriCare, and they make a living out of screwing soldiers and their families. I contracted Lyme disease while on duty and went to civilian doctors. Of course, at the time, I had no clue why I was vomiting, had Bells Palsy or felt like spikes were being driven through my head. At first, I used my civilian insurance, which denied payment after discovering that I was on duty at the time of the tick sinking its fangs into my flesh and giving me a nice spirochete. Long story short, I filed claims through TriCare and they denied everything, and everybody I talked to said I needed to talk to somebody else. After filling out 40 forms, they eventually began making payments on some of the bills. Three years later, TriCare has yet to pay in full my entire hospital bill. I’ve called and called, complained and complained, and there is still two months worth of rent outstanding in bills. I’ve done everything but sue the company. And all I really care about is my credit.

Well, that’s my story about TriCare. And sadly, it’s hardly the worst. Here’s another about a soldier soon to be deployed and his family.

11 Comments:

At 11:01 AM, Blogger David Pakman said...

Hey, excellent website. A great Iraq resource is Deaths in Iraq. It breaks all of the casualties down by age, race, branch of the military, country, etc.

 
At 6:17 AM, Blogger Editor Choice said...

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At 8:06 AM, Blogger kbug said...

Thanks, Casanova, for keeping us informed on military matters and the injustices that still afflict our military men/women. I had a discussion with a co-worker about the lack of real government support for our military a couple weeks ago. He said that the politicians simply say they support the troops because it's the thing to do, but in reality are quietly cutting benefits. I don't know if this is true or not. I know that the raises have come often and regularly since this president has been in office, but it's hard to say what's been going on in the background if you're not really in the mix. Kevin was in the AF before Bush took office and says things have greatly improved for him since that time. I hope that it's not all lip service, not at this time, when we have so many fighting a tough, unconventional, and somewhat unpopular war. We need to take good care of our military people, lest we should find ourselves without then standing between us and the bad guys.

 
At 2:04 PM, Blogger Arnie Brown said...

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At 11:58 PM, Blogger rokkgod said...

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At 9:35 AM, Blogger blaze said...

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At 9:48 PM, Blogger JUST A MOM said...

SMINK put up the stupid blocker will ya,,,, sorry to hear about your problems, that sucks. Just poppin in to see how your doing. Come on by some time huh.

 
At 6:15 PM, Blogger Girl on the Blog said...

I use to be a USAF wife... I can't believe TriCare is still around... it was a pain in the ass then... it sounds like it hasn't gotten any better...

Good Luck to ya!

 
At 4:42 PM, Blogger Tink said...

Heh, if you think Tricare is bad, you should have been around when it was CHAMPUS..(basic tricare is close though).

Kbug, Things have greatly improved since Bush took office - in the way of pay and benefits anyway.

The problem with Tricare is that it's a huge bureaucracy, and it's tough to find someone on the phone that actually gives a damn. I'd say my average is about 5 calls before I actually hit someone who knows their job and will follow through.

We got really lucky with this deployment and had Tricare Prime Remote, (I lived over 100 miles from the base). We had zero problems with payment. The only thing we paid a cent for was prescriptions and those ran between 3-9 bucks. No copays..nothing. Congress had put something into effect which waived our copays and catasrophic cap. They were still paying all les than 3 months ago, but I don't know if that waiver has run out or what. If it hasn't, the family that Smink refers to should be covered

Personally, I think anyone who calls for National Health Care should be forced to live with Basic TriCare for a year..then tell me how much better our medical care would be if only the government took over ::snort::

Best
Tink

 
At 2:19 PM, Blogger Bump said...

LOL - as I'm googling "Tricare Sucks" because of the rotten day that I've had - I will admit that knowing that I am not the only one brings a bit of relief!

Thank You!!

 

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