Jump to content
Baseops Forums
Jughead

Retirement / Separation Considerations

Recommended Posts

Anyone have particular experience (good/bad) with the Tricare supplemental packages?  I've looked at the MOAA and VFW plans but not sure which way to go.

We are staying Prime for now while I get a bulging disc fixed and my wife has a torn rotator cuff repaired...after that we are thinking of going standard.

Any feedback/examples appreciated.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
37 minutes ago, ClearedHot said:

Anyone have particular experience (good/bad) with the Tricare supplemental packages?  I've looked at the MOAA and VFW plans but not sure which way to go.

We are staying Prime for now while I get a bulging disc fixed and my wife has a torn rotator cuff repaired...after that we are thinking of going standard.

Any feedback/examples appreciated.

No direct experience either way, because by my math, they don't make sense unless you will regularly hit the catastrophic cap ($3K / yr, last I looked) via ongoing issues driving co-pays & deductibles.  That doesn't apply to my wife & me ("yet"?), so we've foregone any of the supplementals.  Ultimately, you will have to make the call on what's best for you / your family; either way you go will be based on past history & future guessing, but only you can decide.

Prime vs Standard:  The only folks I know for whom Prime makes sense are those who live near a base and wish to use a military facility for PCM.  Otherwise, Prime does little for you while costing premiums & limiting your options.  Once again, you'll have to bounce your own particular situation and maybe craft a few likely scenarios to decide what's best for you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, Jughead said:

No direct experience either way, because by my math, they don't make sense unless you will regularly hit the catastrophic cap ($3K / yr, last I looked) via ongoing issues driving co-pays & deductibles.  That doesn't apply to my wife & me ("yet"?), so we've foregone any of the supplementals.  Ultimately, you will have to make the call on what's best for you / your family; either way you go will be based on past history & future guessing, but only you can decide.

Prime vs Standard:  The only folks I know for whom Prime makes sense are those who live near a base and wish to use a military facility for PCM.  Otherwise, Prime does little for you while costing premiums & limiting your options.  Once again, you'll have to bounce your own particular situation and maybe craft a few likely scenarios to decide what's best for you.

Tracking and came to the same conclusion...The supplemental packages for my family cost more than the entire Tricare prime fee.  We are lucky to live near two major regional military hospitals so unless I am missing something it doesn't make sense to purchase the supplemental.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, Jughead said:

Prime vs Standard:  The only folks I know for whom Prime makes sense are those who live near a base and wish to use a military facility for PCM.  Otherwise, Prime does little for you while costing premiums & limiting your options.  Once again, you'll have to bounce your own particular situation and maybe craft a few likely scenarios to decide what's best for you.

When I got my pre-retirement brief from the TRICARE rep on base, she straight up told me that Prime was a waste of money, and recommended I take Standard.  Good enough for me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, ClearedHot said:

Any feedback/examples appreciated.

 

Not the same situation, we were still on AD, but we used Standard for my wife when she was pregnant last time in the Vegas area. The ability to pick you own civillian doc was a world of difference. Yes, there's the catastrophic cap, but since she got to pick my doc we felt that there wasn't going to be needed. The level & quality of care was an order of magnitude better.

If you can get Tricare to pay for it but use an off-base doc, that's a Win-Win in my book.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, ClearedHot said:

Tracking and came to the same conclusion...The supplemental packages for my family cost more than the entire Tricare prime fee.  We are lucky to live near two major regional military hospitals so unless I am missing something it doesn't make sense to purchase the supplemental.

Same here, and in over the decade since I retired I believe (right or wrong) that for us Tricare Prime was the way to go, especially with an autistic child...

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd love to hear more thoughts/insights/experiences with Tricare Standard supplements.  I've had one through my employer for approximately 6 months and I'm about ready to ditch it, but I want to ensure I'm not missing anything.  Most of the retirees in my office said they had a supplement at one time and eventually cancelled it with no regrets.

Right now I'm paying $165/mo (approx. $2K/year) in premiums for a family of 4.  There is also a deductible of $200/family that needs to be met, so I'm guaranteed $2,200/year out of pocket.  If I understand Tricare Standard, the catastrophic cap is $3k, so the most a supplement could ever benefit me in a year is $800.  That's during a very bad year health-wise.

During a "good" year, with nothing but sniffles coughs and physicals, without a supplement I suspect I'd be paying about $400 in various co-pays, at which point my Tricare supplement is costing me lots of money.

I'm also factoring in the irritation of constantly chasing down people to get them to pay medical bills of $19, $32, $16, etc.  Not worth the time and aggravation.

Finally, I know there are a lot of Tricare Standard supplements that don't cover "pre-existing conditions."  Mine does, but what a rip-off that would be.

Anyway, sorry to yammer but I think it's a pretty important topic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have had a great experience with MOAA's Tricare standard supplement policy.  While I was on active duty, my wife was on Standard with the supplement.  I paid the $150 deductible every fiscal year and then the supplement covered the copays up to the catastrophic cap of $1000 for active duty.  The active duty supplement was cheap, costing somewhere around $160/yr. Since my wife uses a lot of health care, we always hit the catastrophic cap and the supplement paid out $850/yr.  Now that I am retired, with the catastrophic cap going up to $3000/yr, and the supplement deducible of $300, with a monthly cost of $40, I am paying the $150 Tricare deductible, the $300 supplement deductible, and about $480 per year in supplement policy premiums.  Still under $1K/yr which is excellent in the current health care market.   An important thing to consider is that the pharmacy costs of using a commercial pharmacy are covered by the supplemental policy, as well as the Tricare mail-order pharmacy.  I simply wait until the end of the fiscal year, and file a single claim with the supplemental policy to reimburse the entire year's worth of pharmacy copayments, both from mail order and retail.

If you have a healthy family with nothing but routine medical issues, then perhaps Prime is the best choice.  We, on the other hand, have a number of health issues which require frequent visits to specialists, and Tricare standard with the MOAA supplement has been great to us and allowed selection of providers without the hassle of getting referrals.  An extra benefit of the MOAA supplement is that Tricare automatically sends the claims to them for payment, which requires zero effort to get claims paid properly and in a timely manner.  I joined MOAA as a life member years ago, and have benefitted greatly from the life insurance and Tricare supplement insurance they offer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎10‎/‎21‎/‎2016 at 10:02 AM, Jughead said:

No direct experience either way, because by my math, they don't make sense unless you will regularly hit the catastrophic cap ($3K / yr, last I looked) via ongoing issues driving co-pays & deductibles.  That doesn't apply to my wife & me ("yet"?), so we've foregone any of the supplementals.  Ultimately, you will have to make the call on what's best for you / your family; either way you go will be based on past history & future guessing, but only you can decide.

Prime vs Standard:  The only folks I know for whom Prime makes sense are those who live near a base and wish to use a military facility for PCM.  Otherwise, Prime does little for you while costing premiums & limiting your options.  Once again, you'll have to bounce your own particular situation and maybe craft a few likely scenarios to decide what's best for you.

Tricare Prime, no major health issues with a minor shoulder surgery for a bone spur Oct 2015 (Subacromial Decompression - which was a well spent $25 copay.)  I use the base pharmacy for prescriptions so they are free.  I have found it to be a good deal overall.  I guess this comment is the the military base clinic will not take retirees so I had to find an off-base PCM which has worked out fine. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thread question: how long from an ETS can you be deployed? I'm expecting pass over here shortly, which should put my DOS 31 Jan. With terminal, it should be around 15 Dec, and the squadron is planning on me being deployed 12 Oct - 15 Dec. 

 

While I know terminal requires commander approval, is there a reference for the min time home? Everyone who has separated has said 6 months minimum to deal with the life change, VA appointments, MPF, Finance, final out checklists, etc. 

Edited by xaarman
Grammar

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Deployment end date must be >30 days from your DOS. Terminal doesn't matter. But even that can be waived.

 

 

Edit to add: AFI 36-2110 Table 4.2.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, ThreeHoler said:

Deployment end date must be >30 days from your DOS. Terminal doesn't matter. But even that can be waived.

 

 

Edit to add: AFI 36-2110 Table 4.2.

Yep ^^

I deployed, returned home, and started terminal 7 working days later with CTO before that, so don't let them tell ya it can't be done . I ended up running both the Wing outprocessing/separation checklist and the deployment outprocessing checklists in parallel which got some funny reactions in the shops around base. 

Becasue my DOS was well in the future (~75 days of terminal), the deployment was a go and desired terminal start date didn't matter.

Not sure what steps are available to you if you're trying not to go on the deployment. That wasn't the case for me, so I just tried to cram everything in as close as possible so I didn't lose leave over the FY changeover. 

Edited by nsplayr

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For those separating for the airlines: how many of you are switching to the new retirement system? Is this a consideration in the calculus for people on the way over the fence?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Clearly the above question is meant for those without ambitions to keep ANG/AFRC as a part of their future plans. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, war007afa said:

For those separating for the airlines: how many of you are switching to the new retirement system? Is this a consideration in the calculus for people on the way over the fence?

The new retirement system is a joke. A 5% match? WTF.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
44 minutes ago, Jaded said:

The new retirement system is a joke. A 5% match? WTF.

You still get a pension with it, just at a reduced rate compared to the legacy system. There's also the promise of (additional) mid-career bonuses. A lot of the spreadsheets I've seen have come out surprisingly close depending on the input variables.

WRT the question above, for dudes who plan to bail in a year or two and are sure they're going cold turkey, it's a no-brainer as something > nothing. 

  • Upvote 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, mcbush said:

You still get a pension with it, just at a reduced rate compared to the legacy system. There's also the promise of (additional) mid-career bonuses. A lot of the spreadsheets I've seen have come out surprisingly close depending on the input variables.

WRT the question above, for dudes who plan to bail in a year or two and are sure they're going cold turkey, it's a no-brainer as something > nothing. 

You do people a disservice by referring to this decision as a no brainer, regardless of situation (and especially for pilots.) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You do people a disservice by referring to this decision as a no brainer, regardless of situation (and especially for pilots.) 

For the younger guys, who have no intention of doing 20, it is a no brainer. For those who are unsure, it's probably a better choice. For those that have a magic 8-ball that know they will make it to 20, it might be a still be a better choice than the old retirement system.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
54 minutes ago, ihtfp06 said:


For the younger guys, who have no intention of doing 20, it is a no brainer. For those who are unsure, it's probably a better choice. For those that have a magic 8-ball that know they will make it to 20, it might be a still be a better choice than the old retirement system.

How many people know they aren't going to do 20 years at the beginning of their career? Maybe guys figure it out 5 years in, but at that point they've given up 5 years of matching and compound interest.

How many guys that get out at 12 eek out a reserve retirement through the guard and reserve?

The total benefit for 10 years of 5% match is what, $35k? $40k?

For an officer who has a 4 year ADSC, it may be a no brainer. For an officer with a 10 year ADSC, it is not.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would love to hear some advice for a situation where ADSC commitment is expiring in March 2018. End goal is to go to the airlines (resume should provide for very competitive airline application). Was going to try and get a reserve job and palace chase to get out 1 January 2018. Now there is an option to take a 1 year $30,000 bonus where new ADSC would be July 2018. So if the palace chase didn't go through we are only talking roughly a 3 month extension.

Have you guys heard of horror stories where signing a 1 year bonus like this has screwed guys? Probably not deployable until this November...so that should take out the risk of getting a 1 year drop down deployment. Can the Air Force give out a deployment that goes past commitment date and then not allow the member to set a date of separation? Also is there a minimum number of days prior to your separation date that you can be deployed until? Of course there is always risk that every additional month you are in the Air Force there is risk for a future stop loss of some sort.

Any additional considerations? What about just the thought that every month you put off getting into the airline costs you seniority numbers?

Thanks for any advice...because I know a lot of guys on here have been in similar situations.




Sent from my iPhone using Baseops Network Forums

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, rbigred300 said:

I would love to hear some advice for a situation where ADSC commitment is expiring in March 2018. End goal is to go to the airlines (resume should provide for very competitive airline application). Was going to try and get a reserve job and palace chase to get out 1 January 2018. Now there is an option to take a 1 year $30,000 bonus where new ADSC would be July 2018. So if the palace chase didn't go through we are only talking roughly a 3 month extension.

Have you guys heard of horror stories where signing a 1 year bonus like this has screwed guys? Probably not deployable until this November...so that should take out the risk of getting a 1 year drop down deployment. Can the Air Force give out a deployment that goes past commitment date and then not allow the member to set a date of separation? Also is there a minimum number of days prior to your separation date that you can be deployed until? Of course there is always risk that every additional month you are in the Air Force there is risk for a future stop loss of some sort.

Any additional considerations? What about just the thought that every month you put off getting into the airline costs you seniority numbers?

Thanks for any advice...because I know a lot of guys on here have been in similar situations.




Sent from my iPhone using Baseops Network Forums

There's a guy in my reserve unit that is one seniority number from being able to bid to live in domicile. He's been stuck there for almost a year.

$30,000 is one month's worth of captain's pay. 

It's hard to understand what even just a little bit of seniority means in this business. If you want to fly for the airlines for the rest of your working life, get out as soon as you can. 

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Can the Air Force give out a deployment that goes past commitment date and then not allow the member to set a date of separation? Also is there a minimum number of days prior to your separation date that you can be deployed until? Of course there is always risk that every additional month you are in the Air Force there is risk for a future stop loss of some sort.



Thanks for any advice...because I know a lot of guys on here have been in similar situations.




Sent from my iPhone using Baseops Network Forums

The AF can absolutely give you a deployment past your ADSC...once tagged with that deployment you can not set a DOS that gets you out of that deployment. At least not anymore.

It was stated somewhere else that the AF only has to get you home with >30 days prior to your separation date.


Sent from my iPhone using Baseops Network Forums

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now



×