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Spouse Medical Benefits Overview


Military medical benefits are dependable and affordable. The only downside to them is that they can be somewhat confusing. This is why it is important to understand all of the benefits available to you and your family.  The benefits are available for all seven different branches of the military and are composed, of three different TRICARE plans.

A major advantage is that members who are actilvely in the military, and their family, can be enrolled automatically in the best of the three benefit plans. This service is available for other members not actively in the military, such as reitrees and veterans, but an enrollment fee does apply. This is the most comphrensive plan offered to the military and the familes of service memebers. This is not universally available and has a somewhat limited choice of providers.  Additionally, speciality care is typically available by referral only.

Some veterans, espeically those that have retired may live in areas where the Prime service is not available, in which case the only option is the standard program. A disadvantage to this plan is that the patient has to pay the balance due if medical bills exceed the allowable charge, which can be up to an additional 15%. However, this is the plan that has the broadest choice of providers available.

The TRICARE extra plan is the last of the three. It can be used in conjuction with the standard plan and has a copayment of 5% less than that of the standard plan. The only real disadvantages to this plan is the fact that the patient has to pay a deductible and copayment, which is standard in civilian health care plans. This plan leaves you with no forms to file and no enrollment fee. Another distinct advantage to this plan is that there is no deductible when using the retail pharmacy network.

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