I'm visiting from 2nd trimester because Tricare is driving me INSANE, and I don't know why I didn't think of coming here before.
DH is in the National Guard and is now on active duty orders. This means we're elligible for free Tricare, whereas before we would have had to pay for it (we never set it up because we couldn't afford it).
We have been given so much hassle trying to get it organised. Basically, pretty much daily I call Tricare and ask what we need to do so that Tricare takes effect. I'm told, "it's automatic". I tell them that something's obviously gone wrong in our case because we do NOT have Tricare, despite being elligible and being told it's automatic, and what I'm told to do is ridiculous. Here's a (shortened) list of what I've been told I need to do:
- DH needs to take his orders to the DEERS office where his unit is based. He has to take them there in person.
- DH can email or fax his orders to the DEERS office where his unit is based.
- DH needs to personally drop off/email (we've been told both) his orders to the DEERS office at the base where he now works (not the same as where his unit is based)
- We need to call this hotline *we're connected to a number which is out of service*
- DH needs to talk to his immediate superior and they will handle everything
- DH needs to talk to one specific person in one specific office who never picks up his phone.
We've got so sick of all this that this weekend we drove to his unit's base and handed in his orders ourselves at DEERS. You won't believe how much of a nightmare just doing that was, because they are incredibly lazy there and told us they were closed, despite it being two hours before their closing time. Anyway. We handed in the papers and they looked at us blankly. They told us to take them to someone else in the building for them to upload to the 'system'. We got that done and went back to DEERS, where they told us that there wasn't anything they could do because it would take 24 hours for them to appear on the system, so by the time it appeared on their system their office would be closed; and by the time the office re-opened again the deadline would have passed for new Tricare applicants for this month.
Specifically, they said that DH would have Tricare as soon as his orders appeared (so in 24hrs), but I wouldn't have Tricare until the 1st of the next month, provided we complete the process before the 20th. They were saying, however, that because it was a weekend and blah blah blah it wouldn't be done before the 20th, so I have to wait another whole month for Tricare. THEN, to make things worse, someone in the same office said that was ridiculous and he'd never heard of that, and he's pretty sure I get Tricare in two weeks!
We're so sick of being given the runaround and being given conflicting information by the people who are meant to do this stuff for a living. Does anyone know how Tricare is supposed to work in our case? I have no frequent prenatal care because we can't afford it and we don't have insurance. I really can't wait a whole month for insurance to take effect...
Uuuuugh. Thanks for reading (listening to?) my rant!
EDIT: To make things worse, I'm not eligible for Medicaid, food stamps, or any other government program designed to help people like us (I'm eligible for WIC, which I get). To make things worse still, we can't afford the so-called 'sliding scale' at our health department. That part's a long story, but essentially my husband was making under $300/month before he went active. Although he makes more than that now, money is still a real problem. So I REALLY need Tricare, as soon as possible.