One of the questions that is frequently asked among military families is about switching to Tricare Standard.
For those of you who don’t know, Tricare is our health insurance as military families. When you first sign up, you are in Tricare Prime (and military members themselves MUST be on Prime). With Prime, you see the medical professionals on base unless they refer you out somewhere else. And with Prime, you probably won’t pay anything. My husband has been in the military for five years now and our entire family was on Prime for the majority of that time. Tricare Standard gives you the ability to go to off medical professionals. However with Standard you will pay a co-pay.
When we moved to WPAFB and found out that Baby #2 was coming, I initially went to the Women’s Health Clinic on base where they had OBs and midwives and planned to deliver Adelaide at the base hospital. Somewhere near the end of the second trimester, I decided that I would rather be seen off-base for my prenatal care and deliver the baby at the off-base hospital. Caleb was on-board with whatever I wanted, but we were both interested (nervous?) to see how much we would end up paying out-of-pocket.
From the time I switched to Standard until the actual delivery, I had a few small bills. $10, for instance, to run some blood work. Near the end of my pregnancy when I got the flu I had an ER visit that ended up costing us about $140. But as far as the actual birth goes, we paid $25.
The $25 covered my entire delivery and recovery time: an induction, an epidural and a 24 hour stay post-delivery. (I could have stayed for another day, but chose to go home).
If you are considering switching to Standard while pregnant and trying t to keep your out-of-pocket expenses low, here are a few suggestions.
- While on Standard you can still get your prescriptions filled on base, but since the base pharmacy doesn’t charge a co-pay, you save money each time. I did this during my pregnancy. Instead of sending the presciption order to a local drug store, my doctor would print off a copy that I would take on base to be filled.
- Talk with your doctor about letting you do any blood work or immunizations on base because, again, it’s free if it is on base.
- Post-delivery the same is true. If you need medication, birth control or even an IUD take a prescription on base to save money.
Have you had a baby while on Tricare Standard? I would love to hear what city you were in and how much you paid.
If you delivered on Tricare Prime, how was your experience?
Two weeks ago we welcomed Adelaide Jane into our family! We are absolutely smitten with this sweet babe and are so, so happy that we got to meet her three weeks earlier than we were anticipating.
The past two weeks have been good, but also the tiniest bit overwhelming. Everything is okay with Adelaide right now, but we’ve been in and out of the pediatrician’s many times as she’s being monitored a little closer than most babies are. In addition to that (and the normal lack of sleep due to having a newborn in the house) Caleb’s been having to keep up with classes – grad school doesn’t stop when you have a new baby and since we were expecting her to arrive closer to the end of the semester, we thought he’d be a bit further along in projects. Plus we’ve tried to keep Hadden in his regular activities and therapies as well. We owe a HUGE thank you to my mom and two of my sisters who have alternated visits to help out. It has been a tremendous help to have an extra set of hands around at all times and all three of them went above and beyond to make things easier on us.
This is the face of one very tired (but happy!) mama!
My original plan was to have blog posts scheduled for the first few weeks of Adelaide’s life so that I wouldn’t leave the blog silent during that time and could focus on her, but the combination of my bout with influenza and her early arrival means that my plan got derailed. Instead I’ll probably be digging some of my favorite posts out of the archives to share during this time – keep in touch with me on Facebook to see them! In the meantime, check out this post introducing Hadden who is almost four years old now!
Thanks for celebrating the arrival of our sweet girl with us! I’ll be responding to comments and e-mails as soon as I’m able to, but it might take me a bit longer than normal!
We’re preparing for you. We’re anticipating you. We’re so in love with you.
Your brother is learning all about babies. He’s taken to carrying around a stuffed animal, swaddled tightly. If ever I raise my voice or laugh too loudly, he urgently silences me. “Shhh, Mama! Mine baby is sleeping!” He knows the name we’ve selected for you (he’s the only one who does) and he sing-songs it to himself or to me or to daddy. At my doctor’s visits, he loves to help listen for your heartbeat. “Swoo, swoo, swoo!” He says. Last week my doctor told him that he thought the heartbeat sounded a bit like a train coming down the track. Brother stopped still in amazement. Yesterday we were at the park when he heard a train in the distance. “Mama! It’s like mine baby’s heartbeat! Choo, choo, choo, choo!”
Your daddy is working hard to be ahead on homework and research before you come. He’s also trying to wrap his mind around the idea of two (two!) children. And he ever so graciously picking up the slack that I’m dropping without a word of complaining.
And me? Well, I can’t wait to meet you, my little darling. I feel you churning and kicking within me. I feel the effects of your little life as I lay awake at night with heartburn or hang my head over bucket for the umtenth time. I know it is going to be so worth it in the end.
I’ve purchased some new things for you: clothes that seem impossibly small. A bassinet, since we never had one with your brother. With nine weeks left until we meet you, it will soon be time for me to finish up all the shopping I have left to do, to pull the other baby things out of the basement, and carve out a bit of space for you in this house.
We’re preparing for you in other ways too. Preparing space in our hearts for you and preparing the warmest, most loving environment to bring you home to. I’m praying for you and your future years, but also praying for us as we learn to be the parents that you need.
Oh, baby! I can’t wait to have you in my arms.