I can't believe that I am writing this as I have done my share of complaining. . . And as flawed as the system is, the healthcare provided by TRICARE and at MTFs is remarkable.
Ask yourself these questions:
How much is your monthly premium for TRICARE as an active duty service member or dependent? (Before marrying my DH, my premium was about $150/month for just me.)
If you've had a baby, how much did you have to pay for all maternity related care? (I have friends who are making months payments to pay-off what they owe for maternity care.)
Do you know any military families who have had to declare bankruptcy because of medical care costs? (I don't, but I know people who have had huge hospital bills and paid nothing.)
If you get your scripts filled at the pharmacy at an MTF, *how much* do you pay? (Seven years ago, before I married my DH, I was paying $100/month in company's for my maintenance medication--BCP, an antidepressant and an ADHD medication.)
What, you have a pre-existing condition? TRICARE says no problem. Other insurances? Ha-ha-ha-ha!
If your child requires early intervention, how much of the cost do you pay? (My son received speech therapy, weekly, in our home. We did not pay a penny. Others are not so fortunate.)
Sure, TRICARE and military healthcare can be a PITA, but the coverage is expansive. They require correct coding for things to be covered. Maybe it's a pain to deal with for a billing department (and the repayment rate is laughably low), but it's the same as Medicare and Medicaid.
For those of you who think TRICARE is crap, I'd be curious to hear how you'd like to be paying hundreds of dollars a month for coverage that is not any better.