As a military member separating from your respective service you have many people you need to see; papers that need to be signed; interviews that need to be scheduled, and somehow you have to remember everything that needs to be done and not jeopardize your family’s future.
Of the utmost importance is how you and your family will be able to effectively transition from military health insurance benefits to civilian health insurance plans. In this article I’ll give you an overview about the top 5 things you need to know and how to plan accordingly so you don’t make a bad decision.
1) Military members are eligible to participate in Continued Health Care Benefit Program (CHCBP) when they separate from the military, which allows you to continue to insure yourself prior to the start of any group coverage from starting at a new job or an individual/family plan if you will become self-employed.
2) CHCBP mirrors Tricare Standard benefits, but some benefits are excluded. Additional information can be found here http://www.humana-military.com/chcbp/main.htm
3) The plan will cost an individual $311 per month or a family $663 a month. The first 3 months are due upon application for benefits.
4) Military members must enroll within 60 days following the loss of their Military health insurance benefits and they can keep their new coverage for 18-36 months.
5) Depending upon the nature of any pre-existing conditions you have, CHCBP may provide you with insurance coverage and insure any conditions that you might be experiencing.
As you can clearly see it’s a pretty simple process, but you might (should) be asking yourself what other options do I have? I’m glad you asked.
CHCBP is a great program that helps military members feel one less thing to worry about prior to obtaining group coverage. Having said that, if you’re healthy and can obtain a short term or standard insurance plan, the CHCBP premiums are up to 500% more expensive than similar plans you could find on the market depending upon your age, family size and health status.
For example, a family of 4 living in Maryland, Virginia or Connecticut, might expect to pay $300-$500 a month for a plan that is similar to Tricare Standard. Do you think that you could find a way to spend the extra $4300 a year you’d be saving? If not, I’m sure the insurance company would love the extra money, but I don’t make a living recommending that approach.
Stay tuned for future articles that illustrate other methods that will enable you to save money on your health care costs.