So you totally scored and are seeing a civilian doctor while signed up for Tricare Prime. Unlike your friends who pay for the pleasure through co-pays on Tricare Standard, you have nothing out of pocket. You were simply lucky. Maybe you moved to your military base at a time when the on-base hospital was at capacity, so they assigned you a civilian community doctor. Maybe you requested it and, lucky duck, got a “yes.” Maybe your family has special needs, and the system was able to place you with a civilian to make life easier. Maybe you live just far enough from base to make it really silly to drive there for any given appointment.
That could be about to change. And we want to know how you feel.
For the last several years, the Defense Department has been trying to bring people back into the military treatment facility (MTF) fold.
It started at Marine Corps, Navy and Army bases in 2014. Families on Prime who were seen off-base began getting letters in the mail informing them that, congrats (?), you’re back at the MTF with a military doctor. Others were “invited” back first, and then later pushed in whether they like it or not.
That was then, and this is now — but little has changed. Getting you back into the MTF is still a top priority, a Tricare official told me last week.
Why does Tricare want this? Because it’s cheaper. The military has the doctors on hand, and instead of paying for a civilian, they want you to use them.
You still have options. Don’t want to move? Switch to Tricare Standard and pay to stay where you are.
But how does that make you feel? Are you happy about it? Are you willing to give Dr. Uncle Sam a try? Or will you switch to Standard? If you’re “invited” back, what will you do? Take our poll and tell us.