Retired Military moving to Villages....Healthcare info needed...Please?

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  #1  
Old 12-25-2019, 01:50 PM
Troy8432 Troy8432 is offline
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Red face Retired Military moving to Villages....Healthcare info needed...Please?

My wife (59) and I (54) are making preparations to move to the Villages in spring/summer 2020. We were there in October on a lifestyle visit and are returning in February to gather more information. We really enjoyed our visit and have pretty much made the decision to move from our current location in Northern Virginia. Among all the many items that need careful consideration, healthcare is pretty darn important. Especially, since we are starting to notice an increase in annoying minor medical issues that need attention. I am retired USAF and 60% VA disabled and she spent a few years in the Army many years ago herself. Admittedly, and rather ashamedly, I have never given much thought to healthcare insurance because there was always something else that was more important to be concerned about. When I was Active Duty we used military medical and since I retired in 2004, we've used Tricare Prime. Although it hasn't exactly been free like the recruiter promised me back in 1984 ("give us 20 years and you'll never pay a dime"), getting an ear infection or sore throat fixed by my doctor around the corner has been pretty simple.

During my feeble attempts to do health insurance research near The Villages, I've discovered that either I am an idiot or just overwhelmed by the difficulty in getting accurate non-conflicting information. It really is rather humbling because although I can solve extremely complex network communications engineering puzzles, I can't seem to figure out what to do regarding our future healthcare insurance. As such, I am reaching out the kind and knowledgeable folks in the Villages for advice, recommendations, points of contacts, useful information websites, personal experiences, etc...

So here is what I know. Tricare Prime is not available around The Villages, but Tricare Standard is. There is also something called Tricare extra. Don't know what that is, but it might be something to consider if I could find information about it. I also think there might be Tricare supplements to other insurance packages that are available. I just don't understand them. Although free, Tricare standard can be tricky, because you need to compare what Tricare will cover against what a doctor charges before you get care or you risk paying significantly out of pocket. I also know that I can get 100% care at the VA Clinic, but my wife cannot and I don't know how busy the VA Clinic at The Villages can be. I've considered simply walking into The Villages medical center while I am there in February and just talking to an administrator, but I really would like to hear from some of my future Villager neighbors. Any information would be useful, thank you in advance.
  #2  
Old 12-26-2019, 06:35 AM
600th Photo Sq 600th Photo Sq is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Troy8432 View Post
My wife (59) and I (54) are making preparations to move to the Villages in spring/summer 2020. We were there in October on a lifestyle visit and are returning in February to gather more information. We really enjoyed our visit and have pretty much made the decision to move from our current location in Northern Virginia. Among all the many items that need careful consideration, healthcare is pretty darn important. Especially, since we are starting to notice an increase in annoying minor medical issues that need attention. I am retired USAF and 60% VA disabled and she spent a few years in the Army many years ago herself. Admittedly, and rather ashamedly, I have never given much thought to healthcare insurance because there was always something else that was more important to be concerned about. When I was Active Duty we used military medical and since I retired in 2004, we've used Tricare Prime. Although it hasn't exactly been free like the recruiter promised me back in 1984 ("give us 20 years and you'll never pay a dime"), getting an ear infection or sore throat fixed by my doctor around the corner has been pretty simple.

During my feeble attempts to do health insurance research near The Villages, I've discovered that either I am an idiot or just overwhelmed by the difficulty in getting accurate non-conflicting information. It really is rather humbling because although I can solve extremely complex network communications engineering puzzles, I can't seem to figure out what to do regarding our future healthcare insurance. As such, I am reaching out the kind and knowledgeable folks in the Villages for advice, recommendations, points of contacts, useful information websites, personal experiences, etc...

So here is what I know. Tricare Prime is not available around The Villages, but Tricare Standard is. There is also something called Tricare extra. Don't know what that is, but it might be something to consider if I could find information about it. I also think there might be Tricare supplements to other insurance packages that are available. I just don't understand them. Although free, Tricare standard can be tricky, because you need to compare what Tricare will cover against what a doctor charges before you get care or you risk paying significantly out of pocket. I also know that I can get 100% care at the VA Clinic, but my wife cannot and I don't know how busy the VA Clinic at The Villages can be. I've considered simply walking into The Villages medical center while I am there in February and just talking to an administrator, but I really would like to hear from some of my future Villager neighbors. Any information would be useful, thank you in advance.
There is a Tricare web site that will help you along with various telephone numbers for your particular circumstance.

Since you are retired military both you and your wife should be able to get medical help.
  #3  
Old 12-26-2019, 07:24 AM
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My wife is using Tricare Standard without a problem around the Villages. Since I am older I have Medicare and Tricare. Her providers have only charged minimum co-pays above what Tricare has paid. You can get a supplement but remember some supplements cost more than the care limit ($3000). We just keep a care fund of $3,000.00 set aside each year incase she should need serious care. Using Medicare and Tricare for life I pay nothing for my care here. Good luck on your move.
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  #4  
Old 12-26-2019, 08:34 AM
LuvtheVillages LuvtheVillages is offline
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Before I reached Medicare age, I used Tricare Standard and a supplement. All the military support organizations offer a supplement - ask whatever org you already belong to. The plans are all very similar. I think mine was with MOAA.

When you are 65, Medicare and Tricare for Life are all you need.

Be careful of Villages Health. They only accept Advantage plans and will want you to enroll in theirs. Do not give up your Tricare, there are consequences down the road if you should try to switch back. There are many, many doctors and clinics here apart from Villages Health.

I don't understand your statement about a doctor charging more than Tricare Standard covers. If the doc accepts Tricare (and they all do) then they accept that as full payment. Your only obligation is the co-pay (unless you have the supplement.)
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Old 12-26-2019, 09:28 AM
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We have a couple of neighbors who are retired military with a disability. They both use Villages Health and the VA. There is a VA outpatient clinic in the Villages. Both are satisfied with the arrangement. For somethings, they prefer going to their primary care provider in Villages Health and for others, they go to the VA clinic. As far as I know, neither had to give up their Tricare to use Villages Health.

But in the end, there are many choices for health care here in The Villages.

The Villages Health
  #6  
Old 12-26-2019, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by LuvtheVillages View Post
Before I reached Medicare age, I used Tricare Standard and a supplement. All the military support organizations offer a supplement - ask whatever org you already belong to. The plans are all very similar. I think mine was with MOAA.

When you are 65, Medicare and Tricare for Life are all you need.

Be careful of Villages Health. They only accept Advantage plans and will want you to enroll in theirs. Do not give up your Tricare, there are consequences down the road if you should try to switch back. There are many, many doctors and clinics here apart from Villages Health.

I don't understand your statement about a doctor charging more than Tricare Standard covers. If the doc accepts Tricare (and they all do) then they accept that as full payment. Your only obligation is the co-pay (unless you have the supplement.)
Not sure that is correct....we have neighbors that have Tricare for Life and are the Villages Health Care. They were never asked to switch to an Advantage Plan.
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  #7  
Old 12-26-2019, 11:37 AM
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Troy8432, first thank you and your wife for your service. Now I believe SHINE SHINE - Home may be able to help you. The link will take you to the home page, on there you can click the contact us button for additional info. Many if not all of the Villages Health SPECIALISTS accept outside insurance, the Villages Health system and primary care doctors ONLY accept 3 or 4 advantage plans, and the advantage plans are generally not accepted (or on a very limited basis) for doctors and specialists outside the villages. We were in the villages health plan and had some problems with the advantage plans and were able to switch back to regular medicare and supplemental plans.
Since you mentioned some recent medical concerns I would be very careful about changing plans. You are wise to look into this, hope the link to SHINE helps, we have found them to be very useful, and their info is UNBIASED.
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  #8  
Old 12-26-2019, 11:58 AM
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The OP has two issues really. First, being in their 50s still they are probably not Medicare eligible nor Tricare for Life. That does make it necessary for careful study. Then, when a military retiree reaches age 65 and becomes eligible for Medicare and are enrolled in Tricare for Life, it becomes easier. My wife and I are above that transition age, have Standard Medicare and Tricare for Life for medical and drug coverage. The Villages Health System does indeed accept that medical insurance combination and has for a few years. Before then however, we just had Tricare Standard (I think that was the name back then) and it was a little more difficult to find doctors but certainly not impossible; and, no the Villages Health System did not accept that for medical coverage. I caution the OP about enrolling in some of the Medicare Advantage plans when you get to that point; some of them include the drug coverage which can mess up your Tricare drug coverage. As someone said, do not give up your Tricare coverages - once surrendered, it's very difficult if not impossible to get them back.

The suggestion to talk with SHINE is a great one. And of course access the Tricare web site as well. Don't wait too long as you don't want to get into a panic mode when the decision must be made. The time from mid-50s to "retired" age goes by quickly.
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Old 12-26-2019, 12:14 PM
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T, and the advantage plans are generally not accepted (or on a very limited basis) for doctors and specialists outside the villages. .
We have the Villages Health plan and have not had any problem with specialists outside of Villages Health accepting it.
  #10  
Old 12-26-2019, 03:21 PM
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If a health provider accepts Medicare they must, by law, accept Tricare. You'll be hard pressed to find someone serving the Villages who does not accept Medicare. When we first moved here, I was on Tricare standard until moving to Medicare/Tricare for Life. I had no problems during that period and my Tricare co-pays were not a problem.
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Old 12-27-2019, 05:36 AM
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The Villages Health Care is the very best They accept. Medicare & Tricare, thus u have no copay you do have to sign up. Just call them
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Old 12-27-2019, 06:28 AM
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My husband is retired army & we moved from NOVA. The Villages Health accepted my BC/BS Fed and Tricare until we turned 65 last year. Then we had to choose an Advantage plan or leave. We left because we did not want to choose a restricted plan. My husband uses a combination of private doc & the VA. I use a private doc. Look into a Tricare supplemental plan. Many organizations offer them such as MOAA, USAA, etc. I agree with other readers - do not switch to an Advantage plan.
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Old 12-27-2019, 07:13 AM
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Don't switch from your Tricare to The Villages Advantage Plan. When they first started the Advantage plan I looked into it and they said I would have to switch from my Federal Blue Cross Blue Shield to The Villages Advantage Plan. The Villages Health Care Advantage person said I could try it out and if I didn't like it I could always go back to my Federal plan. This was false. Once you leave your Federal Plans or your Tricare you will NOT be able to switch back! The Federal Plans are the best.
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Old 12-27-2019, 07:18 AM
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If you have tri-care prime, as I do, nothing really changes here in the Villages. Almost every doctor excepts it. You share will be the same as it is now. When you start drawing medicare the 2 of them will pay almost everything. The VA clinic here is pretty good except the wait for appointments is a bit slow. I no longer use it because you can not get in quickly for a routine cold or pain, etc.
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Old 12-27-2019, 07:38 AM
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My husband is retired military with 60% disability. He gets his care at the VA clinic here at the villages on county road 42. It is a large clinic with most services. Be sure to have copies of you medical records, DD214, VA ID card, etc with you. I had tricare prime with MOAA as my secondary in Kansas. They have tricare standard and extra down here, but you should have MOAA as a secondary. Tricare standard and extra are like Medicare they pay the same rate as Medicare to the doctors. So when you get here you need to fine a doctor that is in the tricare network. That means they have signed a contract with the government that they will accept what the government will pay them just like Medicare. Tricare pays 80% of your bill and you pay 20 or 25% depending on if you have standard or extra. I think standard you pay no premium for it and extra you do, I’m not sure, I haven’t read the new coverage for 2020, only Medicare as I now have Medicare and tricare for life. MOAA will cover the 20% out of pocket you would pay. When you start looking for a doctor the villages healthcare does not take tricare or regular Medicare they want you to sign up for their network that limits you to only their doctors.Never give up you Medicare and tricare for life when you reach age 65. It means the difference between being locked in to a limited number of doctors or being able to go to any doctor in the country. I have had no problem finding doctors for all my healthcare here. You need to ask the doctors office if they accept Tricare and do the billing for you, not have you pay up front and then you have to fill out the paperwork and get reimbursed from tricare. MOAA you will have to submit paperwork for visits, they are very good about helping you, I had their coverage from 2000 till July 1, 2019, and liked them. If you go to a doctor or urgent care that is not in the tricare network you are responsible for that bill, so know before you go. If it is a true emergency and you end up in the ER you need to let Tricare know it in a certain time frame and it will be covered if the hospital is not a tricare contractor.
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