I am new to military wifedom, and just found out I am pregnant with my first! We have Tricare Prime, which I have heard means very few appointments and hard to see a compassionate doc. Any stories?
Does anyone know if I can be referred to an off-base OB? Does Tricare still pay for everything? Any advice on this would be most appreciated!!
First of all, it is human nature to kvetch about the bad. Look at these boards, 90% of the posts are about the negative or questionable things that are going on in our lives. We need support or validation or help figuring out what to do next.
They are rarely posts about the good and you never see posts about the' same old'-same old'.
If we did that, we would have hundreds of thousands of posts.
Second, it is human nature to exaggerate most our world experiences (I include myself in this). Its either due to wanting the most IVYs possible.
Third, (and this is from my 9 years of experience as a Patient Advocate for TRICARE and Civilian Medical) most of the issues people complain about are not actually 'complain worthy' situations.
The best example I have is the number of posts we have here about newly pregnant women not being able to get an appointment until they are 10+ weeks along. The immediate response is "how horrible and mean and uncaring TRICARE is".
No - that is the national Standard of Care practice that all OBs follow, due to a variety of medically researched and experienced reasons.
But damn it, we just have to blame someone. And we do it vocally.
Look, I am not saying that TRICARE is perfect (if I was, I would not have been paid a really good sum to lobby against them). But given what I have seen in the civilian world (life time caps, extremely restricted formularies, etc) TRICARE isnt any worse. It is just different.
As for your OP questions. The MTF where I gave birth too was great. There were appointments and it ran smoothly enough. The ONLY reason why I disenrolled from Prime was because I would literally have to drive right by the civilian hospital (I actually had to drive by another MTF, since DH was stationed at Eglin but we lived west of Hurlburt) and go another 15 miles...which during morning rush hour traffic could add an hour to my drive.
But every one of my friends who lived north used the clinic and loved it.
Look, if you want a true read on the clinic, go in and visit it. See what the appointments are like and talk to the women IN the waiting room and those that just had their babies. And talk to more than 10.