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Profane Kahuna
01-08-2018, 09:31 AM
Hello,

I have an insurance question that isnít answered in the other two threads.

For all those retired military people already at Southwest, what is the best strategy for health and dental insurance? Southwest Regular plan with Tricare Retired as a backup or something else?

I start at the end of the month and any info you can provide would be awesome.

Thanks


RckyMtHigh
01-08-2018, 05:28 PM
Regular plan with Tricare secondary. Regular plan has a lot of caveats, but when Tricare is used as a secondary they pick up everything your primary insurance doesn't. With the two together, you'll pretty much have zero medical costs.

at6d
01-09-2018, 01:11 AM
FWIW, I just flew a trip with a retired AF guy, he has been on the Regular Plan with Tricare as backup for many years. His only regret is not doing it sooner. Iíve flown with many just like him.

Iím a civ guy that just switched over to the RP, first paycheck of the year and I already saved a premium payment. Iíve tried hard to find ďthe catch,Ē but just couldnít....


Profane Kahuna
01-09-2018, 06:12 AM
Thanks for the responses so far.

Should have highlighted this more in the original post.... what about Tricare Retired Dental? Worth having as a backup or not worth the hassle?

Tenacvols
01-09-2018, 09:48 AM
Thanks for the responses so far.

Should have highlighted this more in the original post.... what about Tricare Retired Dental? Worth having as a backup or not worth the hassle?

Donít waste your money on the Tricare dental. Youíll get free dental with the regular plan. I believe each individual is limited to $1000 per year for cleanings, fillings, crowns, etc... so that could add up if they have some unexpected issues.

e6bpilot
01-09-2018, 11:49 AM
The only time you should ever get tricare Dental is if you or your family are having major, long term work done that either isnít covered by the SWA plan (for example, a bunch of crowns that have been previously done and therefore arenít covered) or if you have a kid(s) in braces to get a double braces payment. You are required to keep it for 12 months after you sign up, and it isnít cheap.
Regular plan Dental isnít great, but it is pretty good and well worth the extra money in your pocket.

e6bpilot
01-09-2018, 11:54 AM
I just switched from prime/no swa medical to regular/tricare retiree select (formerly standard) and so far it has been great. We have already had some major medical issues with kids this year and just being able to call any doctor without asking your PCM ďmother may IĒ is worth a lot. Working with two insurances can be tricky, but most doctors offices are smart on it.
Tricare is always secondary by law, but it generally pays up to what it would have paid if it were primary which means you end up not paying a whole lot.

a1flyer
01-10-2018, 09:40 AM
If you're happy with Tricare Prime, keep it and don't sign up for SWA medical. SWA will pay you $50/month to not use their medical. That just about pays for Prime (me and spouse). My PCM is at an AFB and it's easy to get appts and free drugs. That will give you time to ask others and, if at some point you want to change, you can change the following January.

If you're not happy with Prime or are moving away, or live away, from military medical care you might be better off with SWA medical (Tricare standard as secondary payer).

I've been Tricare Prime, with no SWA medical, since I retired 17 yrs ago.

PS - Say yes to SWA dental and vision (if you need that). Much cheaper than other options I've seen.

Profane Kahuna
01-11-2018, 04:41 PM
Thank you everyone for the responses.

If you're happy with Tricare Prime, keep it and don't sign up for SWA medical. SWA will pay you $50/month to not use their medical. That just about pays for Prime (me and spouse). My PCM is at an AFB and it's easy to get appts and free drugs. That will give you time to ask others and, if at some point you want to change, you can change the following January.

If you're not happy with Prime or are moving away, or live away, from military medical care you might be better off with SWA medical (Tricare standard as secondary payer).

I've been Tricare Prime, with no SWA medical, since I retired 17 yrs ago.

PS - Say yes to SWA dental and vision (if you need that). Much cheaper than other options I've seen.

.....and thanks for this one too.

My main problem is they are changing many things with Tricare, many of the changes havenít been fully fleshed out yet (admission from tricare experts at my local hospital), and I am retiring right when those changes go into effect. So I might get stuck with multiple enrollment fees for tricare and tricare dental (or not depending on which tricare person I talk to) and no matter what I will be the guinea pig as one of the first to retire under the changes.

Which prompted lots of questions from the wife... and which prompted my post.

Again, many thanks to those that responded and those who contacted me.

SLCFlyer
01-11-2018, 05:05 PM
We went with Regular Plan and Tricare Standard (now Tricare Retiree Select as of 1 Jan). Dental and Vision through SWA at minimal cost. My wife's $200K plus cancer bills last year cost us ZERO dollars.

Profane Kahuna
01-18-2018, 03:21 PM
Thanks for the additional responses.

What are the insurance networks that Southwest uses for medical, dental, and vision?

Thanks!

CA1900
01-18-2018, 03:30 PM
Thanks for the additional responses.

What are the insurance networks that Southwest uses for medical, dental, and vision?

United Healthcare for medical, Delta Dental for dental, and EyeMed for vision.

Note that if you're on the Regular Plan health insurance option, there is no separate "in-network" and "out-of-network" reimbursement rate. It pays 80% (you pay 20%) up to their allowable maximum for a covered service, no matter what doctor you see. While staying within the UHC system will simplify billing, you can see any doctor you want, and if they can't bill UHC directly for their portion, you can submit for reimbursement.

The other main plan is their Choice Plus plan, which does have a provider network, and only covers 50% (after a hefty deductible) if you go outside it.

I'm on the Regular Plan. I like it. No monthly premium, and after a $2500 annual out-of-pocket maximum, no more coinsurance; it covers everything 100%. Unless you're single with no kids, the premiums alone on the Choice Plus will cost more than $2500/year.

e6bpilot
01-18-2018, 08:47 PM
I would encourage you to take a hard look at going regular plan/tricare. Ask anyone who has done it and they will tell you they wish they did it sooner.
Having a world of medical providers at your disposal vs the referral system that you are under with Prime is huge. I have literally seen a new doctor every year that I have an appointment for a checkup at the base clinic as has my wife. Itís a running joke in our house that we are old enough to be their parents. Standard by itself can get costly.
There is a reason SWA pays you $600/yr to not take their insurance. It is a huge bargain for them since they are self insured.
The regular plan is a HUGE benefit and a major cost savings. It is contractual so SWA hasnít been able to get rid of it. They will not tell you about it during new hire training.

Profane Kahuna
01-19-2018, 11:46 AM
United Healthcare for medical, Delta Dental for dental, and EyeMed for vision.

Note that if you're on the Regular Plan health insurance option, there is no separate "in-network" and "out-of-network" reimbursement rate. It pays 80% (you pay 20%) up to their allowable maximum for a covered service, no matter what doctor you see. While staying within the UHC system will simplify billing, you can see any doctor you want, and if they can't bill UHC directly for their portion, you can submit for reimbursement.



Thanks, exactly what I needed!

Profane Kahuna
01-19-2018, 11:51 AM
I would encourage you to take a hard look at going regular plan/tricare. Ask anyone who has done it and they will tell you they wish they did it sooner.
Having a world of medical providers at your disposal vs the referral system that you are under with Prime is huge. I have literally seen a new doctor every year that I have an appointment for a checkup at the base clinic as has my wife. Itís a running joke in our house that we are old enough to be their parents. Standard by itself can get costly.
There is a reason SWA pays you $600/yr to not take their insurance. It is a huge bargain for them since they are self insured.
The regular plan is a HUGE benefit and a major cost savings. It is contractual so SWA hasnít been able to get rid of it. They will not tell you about it during new hire training.

That sounds like what we will be doing. Probably going to pay for the Delta dental optional plan because the wife has a tooth that needs work and the difference between 60% and 80% coverage might be worth it.

e6bpilot
01-19-2018, 03:43 PM
Not to rain on your parade too much, but you canít choose the ďupgradedĒ Dental with the regular plan. You can choose it with no medical. Take a look at the premiums vs what you will save. With regular plan dental being free it would have to be an expensive procedure for optional dental to make financial sense.

Profane Kahuna
01-19-2018, 03:45 PM
Not to rain on your parade too much, but you canít choose the ďupgradedĒ Dental with the regular plan. You can choose it with no medical. Take a look at the premiums vs what you will save. With regular plan dental being free it would have to be an expensive procedure for optional dental to make financial sense.

Ok thanks for the info.

McBoeingBus
01-20-2018, 03:39 AM
Most airlines will give some sort of kickback if you use Tricare (retired or reserve). If Tricare works for your situation it's usually cheaper. However, Tricare dental is usually more expensive than your company plan.

Laramie
01-20-2018, 04:30 AM
Most airlines will give some sort of kickback if you use Tricare (retired or reserve). If Tricare works for your situation it's usually cheaper. However, Tricare dental is usually more expensive than your company plan.

Which airlines do this? Which airline do you work for?



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