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U.S. Military Retiree Medical Insurace - TRICARE & VA Benefits

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Hello All,


I am retiring from the military and my family is relocating to Turkey... I wanted to open a topic on Tricare to begin compiling information for others who might be interested.  So here are some questions I have been trying to address, and the answers I have found thus far (Thanks to Ken who provided much of this info)... if you have better or more recent info, please add to the conversation:


Q1: What kind of TRICARE  is available to military retirees in Turkey?  

A1: Retirees are eligible for Tricare Standard Overseas (see http://www.tricare.mil/Plans/HealthPlans/TSO.aspx).  Only active duty can use Tricare Prime Overseas or Tricare Extra Overseas.


Q2: How does TRICARE standard work?

A2: In short, individuals $150 USD for a deductible, families $300, then a 25% cost share for services.  Detailed info:  http://www.tricare.mil/Costs/HealthPlanCosts/TSO.aspx


Q3: Do I need to enroll or do anything special to use Tricare Standard Overseas?

A3: No.  You are automatically enrolled in Tricare Standard Overseas.  You will pay out of pocket for all services, and then submit paperwork to Tricare for reimbursement. 


Q4:  What about prescriptions?  Can we use Tricare Mail Order Pharmacy?

A4: Overseas, you may fill prescriptions at MTF pharmacies. Otherwise, you will need to fill prescriptions at host nation pharmacies by paying the full cost up front and filing a claim for reimbursement. TRICARE Pharmacy Home Delivery is only available overseas if you have an APO/FPO address.


Q5: What are some other ways to pay for medical costs while overseas?

A5:  We are looking at several supplemental policies that pay the difference after Tricare pays.  One optionis through MOAA... here is the link to their policy:  http://www.moaainsurance.com/personal-insurance/mediplus-tricare-supplement


Q6: What if you have children who reside in the USA while you live in Turkey (i.e. - college students)?

A6: They can enroll in Tricare Prime as usual.  It is called a split enrollment.  Call Tricare for the region of the USA for more info.


Q7: Can we use Turkish medical insurance instead?

A7:  I think it depends on your individual situation.  It is my understanding that military retirees don't qualify for the Turkish health insurance because foreigners who receive health insurance coverage from a state-sponsored plan don't qualify. Tricare is state-sponsored.  But... if Tricare doesn't meet the standard for the Residence Permit insurance requirement you may be able to purchase state insurance.  But what if you elect to not take advantage of Tricare?  Can you then use Turkish insurance? Not sure...


Q8:  What about VA medical benefits? Are costs for service-related disabilities reimbursable while living in Turkey?

A8:  Not sure... this would be a great question to explore. 


As I mentioned before... I hope this can be an ongoing discussion.  If you have anything to add I am sure it would be much appreciated.

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