By Jennifer Barnhill, Navy Spouse
See this article inside the December issue of Military Spouse Magazine.
With the threat of losing 18,000
uniformed medical billets over the next few years, frustrations at the lack of
health care continuity may be exacerbated for military families. Couple this
cutback with a lack of program clarity, and many beneficiaries feel as though
their care might suffer.
Uncertainty in Change
On a good day, trying to negotiate the intricacies of a
public or private health care system can be irritating. Dealing with one when
you are mid-Permanent Change of Station or in a health crisis can result in
chalkboard-scratching, hair-pulling frustration.
Military families are among the
most vulnerable when it comes to continuity of care related issues. Moving
every two to three years requires families to start over, searching for new
health care providers, homes, schools, jobs, and friends.
In December 2016, Congress passed
the FY2017 National Defense Authorization Act, the driving force behind
numerous changes to TRICARE and the Military Health System (MHS). Changes
already in effect include increased pharmacy copays and civilian-style open
enrollment period restrictions.