Recently, a Guard spouse identified to us that she had applied at the pharmacy of Target and Giant Eagle to participate in their pharmacy rewards programs. She was denied the opportunity because she was using Tricare military health benefits. Many of our retirees, reservists and their families do not live near an installation with a pharmacy and the mail in process for Express Scripts can take too long for timely medications. This lady was flabbergasted to say the least when she was told she could not participate - The Reason? from these corporations' representatives? – she was in a “government assistance” program! Yep, she got pretty mad and walked away looking for another pharmacy. A serving member of our armed forces have earned their medical benefits for them and their families!
I had a similar experience last fall when our Wal Mart offered “free flu shots”. Sounded great, it was convenient and avoided a visit to the family doctor for two of us who had been to see way too many doctors lately due to cancer. After we stood in line to get our shots, we found out that their list of approved insurance companies did not include Tricare. The technician was a bit put off when we asked why and the on duty manager did not care. We asked them why Tricare was not included and did not receive a response. We decided to find a new pharmacy and take our business elsewhere.
Last week a major national media outlet posted an editorial that Tricare is “Too Sweet a Deal”. When I saw the article in USA Today it was packed with information about the rising costs of military health care and placed the burden of the rising costs on military retirees. No where did I see the cost of war since 2001 in those figures. In fact, the Department of Defense and the outgoing Secretary of Defense frequently blame the rising costs of health care on the backs of retirees too. The figures they frequently use and that USA Today used start in 2001! I remember some events in 2001 including working almost non stop for 6 months and flying my last mission (after 30 years of service) into Afghanistan. Since then the military community has seen our wounded return, our killed in action return and our families stretched tight as a rubber band.
|MilitaryAvenue and CNN on Military Spouse Appreciation Day|
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