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JulieHowe
11-14-2009, 07:13 AM
I have several US military health-care questions: I apologize for the crazy font - every time I try to change it, I make things look even worse.

My main character is on active duty with the National Guard. He was in the Army for ten years before that.

He's the sole support of his widowed mother. Would he be able to add her to his military health insurance?

He also has a handicapped child. Would he be able to take her to any doctor using his Champus/Tricare card, or do they have to use military-provided health care?

Later on, his girlfriend suffers a traumatic brain injury. Would marrying her get her insurance coverage once she maxes out her private health insurance?

Thank you to all.

RJK
11-14-2009, 06:54 PM
It's been a lot of years since I was active military, but I would say yes to your first two questions. The GF would be questionable. Is she ambulatory? or is she in a coma? The government may a soldier marrying a vegetable.

JulieHowe
11-14-2009, 08:22 PM
It's been a lot of years since I was active military, but I would say yes to your first two questions. The GF would be questionable. Is she ambulatory? or is she in a coma? The government may a soldier marrying a vegetable.

Years ago is okay because the story takes place in 1990. She's out of the hospital and living with him, and her need is for outpatient rehab, but her health insurance has run out.

Thanks :)

bylinebree
11-14-2009, 10:34 PM
Ok, my spouse is retired Army Reserve & I'm very familiar with Tricare health benefits; we've been active duty and are on it right now:

He's the sole support of his widowed mother. Would he be able to add her to his military health insurance?
No, parents can't be added to mil health insurance, even if you are supporting them. Pretty sure about this. But he might be able to claim a tax deduction, if she is disabled and dependent on him, living with him -- maybe.

He also has a handicapped child. Would he be able to take her to any doctor using his Champus/Tricare card, or do they have to use military-provided health care?
He would have to take his child to the military facility first to be seen and evaluated per her condition. Then Tricare would refer them out to their providers/specialists first. You can also request a certain provider, or call on your own to see if they will file Tricare for you, whether they 'take' Tricare or not. I've done this myself -- they may not 'take' Tricare but will file, and Tricare will pay. You then have a small (usually) co-pay for what Tricare doesn't cover.

Later on, his girlfriend suffers a traumatic brain injury. Would marrying her get her insurance coverage once she maxes out her private health insurance?
If she's his spouse, she gets ALL of his military benefits, including Tricare, yes! Her private health insurance would be a secondary, extra coverage AFTER using her Tricare. It's a great thing, and our family has used this as well. You end up paying very little when you are double-insured.

Hope this helps you!

RJK
11-14-2009, 10:44 PM
Thanks for the bailout Bree, I was on active duty before hal of you were born. It was a whole different ballgame back then.

bylinebree
11-14-2009, 11:21 PM
You're welcome - glad it helped. Best of luck! :snoopy:

JulieHowe
11-15-2009, 01:09 AM
Thanks! This was exactly what I needed to know.

Tsu Dho Nimh
11-15-2009, 06:59 PM
Later on, his girlfriend suffers a traumatic brain injury. Would marrying her get her insurance coverage once she maxes out her private health insurance?


No. If she is comatose or if the injury has left her cognitively deficient, she can't consent to a contract, such as marriage.

Kate Thornton
11-15-2009, 07:43 PM
No. If she is comatose or if the injury has left her cognitively deficient, she can't consent to a contract, such as marriage.

This is a very good point - he's gotta marry her before the injury in order for the marriage to take place. Then, she is eligible for full benefits.

Otherwise, depending on her work history, she may qualify for Social Security Disability & Medicare or state aid, depending on her state of residence.

Either way, I'd get them to the altar before the accident, or have the lack of medical coverage be a major issue in the story. It could be a plot complication you could use.

Kate
CW3 US Army (ret.)

JulieHowe
11-16-2009, 12:09 AM
No. If she is comatose or if the injury has left her cognitively deficient, she can't consent to a contract, such as marriage.

The boyfriend and the parents coach her through the visit to the justice of the peace. She says 'I do', even though she's cognitively impaired and isn't legally able to consent to anything, but the family has run out of options, and there's a two-year waiting period for Medicare eligibility.