Author Topic: Military (Active/Separated/Retired), and TRICARE (Life/Standard/Remote/ Life)  (Read 20192 times)

GM

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Occasionally I see another prior military member posting. 

I thought that it might be a good idea to start this topic thread under insurance since we deal with an elusive healthcare network.  We might be able to learn how to deal with using TRICARE when it comes to our AN's.

Although I had my AN treated while on active duty, I retired in 2005 and deal with yearly monitoring.

Originally 1.8cm (left ear)...Swelled to 2.1 cm...and holding after GK treatment (Nov 2003)
Gamma Knife University of Virginia  http://www.medicine.virginia.edu/clinical/departments/neurosurgery/gammaknife/home-page
Note: Riverside Hospital in Newport News Virginia now has GK!!

epodjn

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Good topic. My son is army and deals with tricare all the time. It can be a challenge. The only advice I have to offer is to get in touch with your case manager early on for any health problems. Good luck to you who are military. And thank you for all you do for us!!
Left side 3.2cm AN/FN removed 12/8/08 Dr's. Shelton and Reichman. SSD, facial paralysis,taste issues, lateral tarrsoraphy 6/25/09,scheduled for eye and nasal valve surgery 6/22/11 life is GOOD!

GM

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How has anyone dealt with TRICARE and choosing your treatment option?  If you had surgery, how did you select your surgeon using TRICARE?  Did you have to use a case manager?

I have looked up and found that radiosurgery is an option that they will pay for...I was active duty at the time I had it so I didn't have to deal with this side.  But as you know when you retire...it's a whole new world with TRICARE.

Gary
Originally 1.8cm (left ear)...Swelled to 2.1 cm...and holding after GK treatment (Nov 2003)
Gamma Knife University of Virginia  http://www.medicine.virginia.edu/clinical/departments/neurosurgery/gammaknife/home-page
Note: Riverside Hospital in Newport News Virginia now has GK!!

GM

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Just trying to keep the thread alive...any military / prior military out there that can share their experiences with TRICARE?

GM
Originally 1.8cm (left ear)...Swelled to 2.1 cm...and holding after GK treatment (Nov 2003)
Gamma Knife University of Virginia  http://www.medicine.virginia.edu/clinical/departments/neurosurgery/gammaknife/home-page
Note: Riverside Hospital in Newport News Virginia now has GK!!

Dan

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GM

Soory, I can't help.  After I retired I started working for a Germany Company and have my health insurance through them.  I am really glad I don't have to use Tricare here in Germany and I'm really not sure how it works with retires in germany or if it works.  Its really good to see other active and ex military on this sight even though I don't like it that its because of an AN that they hve to join us.  If you here of and military searching for a good Dr in germany let me know.

Dan in Germany
US Army Retired, age 51,  residing and working in Germany.
Retrosigmoid 21 Sept 07 left side 1.76cm AN, Prof. Mann, Uniklinik Mainz Germany

lori67

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My best advice for dealing with Tricare:  Beat your head against a brick wall until you pass out.  We have Tricare Prime for Active duty.

They were great when we were not near a Military Treatment Facility (MTF) - I was able to go to great doctors and they paid for just about everything.  Now that we are back near a Military Treatment Clinic, it's back to the head against the brick wall approach.  I refuse to go to the MTF as they are the ones who misdiagnosed me in the first place.  If you don't succeed in killing me the first time, I don't give you another chance!  Of course, it requires months of fighting to get them to agree to let me see a civilian doctor, so I've been paying to use the Point of Service option, which is fine until it comes around to MRI time - that could get expensive!

On the bright side....15 months until my husband retires!   ;D

Lori
Right 3cm AN diagnosed 1/2007.  Translab resection 2/20/07 by Dr. David Kaylie and Dr. Karl Hampf at Baptist Hospital in Nashville.  R side deafness, facial nerve paralysis.  Tarsorraphy and tear duct cauterization 5/2007.  BAHA implant 11/8/07. 7-12 nerve jump 9/26/08.

GM

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Thanks for the input! This was exactly what I was looking for.  There have been many posts on how people have dealt with their insurance companies...buy none are TRICARE.  As you know ...it is a totally different animal.

My AN was discovered while I was on active duty.  I was fortunate that my USAF ENT doc wasn't comfortable with my hearing loss findings and decided to probe further (refer to Portsmouth ENT clinic).  I am on the other side if retirement, I retired in 2005 from the military. 

I still have annual MRI's at Portsmouth Naval Hospital because they have been tracking me since 2003.  But, it feels like a "hand-shake" agreement that could fall apart any year.  It almost did this year .  The MRI clinic wanted to refer me to a civilian provider for an MRI, but my ENT nurse at Portsmouth was able to get me in.  I'm sure she she reties...my follow ups will get complicated.

Again, thanks for the inputs!
Originally 1.8cm (left ear)...Swelled to 2.1 cm...and holding after GK treatment (Nov 2003)
Gamma Knife University of Virginia  http://www.medicine.virginia.edu/clinical/departments/neurosurgery/gammaknife/home-page
Note: Riverside Hospital in Newport News Virginia now has GK!!

lori67

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I just noticed you're in Virginia also.   Maybe we'll run into each other at Portsmouth!  I'll treat you to a cup of coffee.  Do they still have that good coffee and bagel place right near the ramp from the parking garage to the hospital?

Lori
Right 3cm AN diagnosed 1/2007.  Translab resection 2/20/07 by Dr. David Kaylie and Dr. Karl Hampf at Baptist Hospital in Nashville.  R side deafness, facial nerve paralysis.  Tarsorraphy and tear duct cauterization 5/2007.  BAHA implant 11/8/07. 7-12 nerve jump 9/26/08.

GM

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Why yes they do!  ...and I'll take you up on the cofee  ;)

There has been a support group that been trying to kick off.  We had a few meetings in Richmond...but it's been a while since we've got back together. 
Originally 1.8cm (left ear)...Swelled to 2.1 cm...and holding after GK treatment (Nov 2003)
Gamma Knife University of Virginia  http://www.medicine.virginia.edu/clinical/departments/neurosurgery/gammaknife/home-page
Note: Riverside Hospital in Newport News Virginia now has GK!!

lori67

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Well, count me in for the next meeting.  Sounds great!
Right 3cm AN diagnosed 1/2007.  Translab resection 2/20/07 by Dr. David Kaylie and Dr. Karl Hampf at Baptist Hospital in Nashville.  R side deafness, facial nerve paralysis.  Tarsorraphy and tear duct cauterization 5/2007.  BAHA implant 11/8/07. 7-12 nerve jump 9/26/08.

moe

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GM
Just now saw this thread. I'm another military member.
a DW-dumb dependent wife! of active duty.
See my sig! I have had good success with the military so far.

The only prob is not being able to "shop" around for docs.
 I have a great case manager who knows me, and she is so great, so that is the deal. Keeping in touch. If your CM leaves, find out who her replacement is and send her candy!!! My  AN surgeon trained at HOUSE thankfully and he did an awesome job. He felt awful about the facial nerve being cut but I'm alive and I didn't stroke out during the surgery, so I count my blessings.

You just have to have faith in the system, retired or AD and keep on top of your condition. ??? ??? ???

My story is long and complicated,  and I have to be extra patient as i await my facial fate.

I've had surgeries at Madigan Hospital, in Tacoma, WA

Wilford Hall in San Antonio, TX

University of WA in Seattle.

We are here to stay so I'm fortunate to be near Madigan Army where I follow up with the oculoplastic surgeon for my cornea issues. He will remain there forever (I hope) and I have follow ups with him. Hopefully some eye tweek surgeries maybe next year.

Anyway, glad to meet another military forumite! It is definitely a different approach.
Maureen
06/06-Translab 3x2.5 vascular L AN- MAMC,Tacoma WA
Facial nerve cut,reanastomosed.Tarsorrhaphy
11/06. Gold weight,tarsorrhaphy reversed
01/08- nerve transposition-(12/7) UW Hospital, Seattle
5/13/10 Gracilis flap surgery UW for smile restoration :)
11/10/10 BAHA 2/23/11 brow lift/canthoplasty

GM

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Maureen,

Hope you heal quickly and your facial nerve heals fully.  Sounds like you have had a good experience with the military system.  I'm hoping others see this thread and contribute as well...

Have a great weekend all!

GM
Originally 1.8cm (left ear)...Swelled to 2.1 cm...and holding after GK treatment (Nov 2003)
Gamma Knife University of Virginia  http://www.medicine.virginia.edu/clinical/departments/neurosurgery/gammaknife/home-page
Note: Riverside Hospital in Newport News Virginia now has GK!!

OTO

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I think there was a thread by GreenGiant who was active duty enlisted.   He had surgery (probably about 6 mos ago), and is being discharged due to the hearing loss.  I can't believe that with all the hearing loss in the Army.     I know several years ago there was a long thread by either an active duty or just retired Army person in Alabama (Ft Rucker maybe).... I think it was DAN.   But the thread dealt with his complications during surgery... didn't discuss TRICARE, but I'm sure he could share his dealings with TRICARE.

I'm a DAC and do some work at Tripler AMC here in Hawaii, but no dealings with TRICARE.   Good luck...

moe

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OTO
Had two kids born in the PINK hospital in Honolulu!
We lived there 4 years, chased babies in diapers. It was great fun. Didn't have to worry about winter clothes!
How do you like it there? Island fever??
Maureen
06/06-Translab 3x2.5 vascular L AN- MAMC,Tacoma WA
Facial nerve cut,reanastomosed.Tarsorrhaphy
11/06. Gold weight,tarsorrhaphy reversed
01/08- nerve transposition-(12/7) UW Hospital, Seattle
5/13/10 Gracilis flap surgery UW for smile restoration :)
11/10/10 BAHA 2/23/11 brow lift/canthoplasty

WetEver

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I am a member of Tricare Prime.  My husband is retired Navy.  I was diagnosed in March 2009 with acoustic neuroma.  I immediately found this web site and immediately chose House Ear Clinic.  I live in Virginia.  Tricare Price would never downright deny me, but the hoops they had me jumping through, combined with the stress of the diagnosis was making me crazy.  I finally spoke with someone at Tricare that said the process or approval would be alot easier if I stay within my "region".  Okay, that I can do.  I contacted Dr De La Cruz at House and he referred me to Dr Moises Arriaga at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh.  (Dr Arriaga has since returned to his practice that was temporarily closed in New Orleans following Katrina).  From that day on Tricare has been wonderful!  I had my surgery (TransLab) on July 14, 2009.  They paid for the microsurgery, all the hospital bills, the anesthesia, the tons of vestibular tests, the neurosurgeon, and, even the cost my husband and I incurred in getting to and from Pittsburgh, not to mention our hotel and meals!  I couldn't be more pleased with the outcome.  And, today, I have my first post op audiogram and I begin the journey in getting Tricare to pay for a BAHA.  Wish me luck!!!!   

If anyone has any question concerning Tricare, or would like a further explanation, please feel free to contact me.  I'd be happy to help!

Anne

 


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