Wednesday, January 12, 2011

How to Enroll in Tricare

Alternative titles:

  • Georgians are all paperwork nazis.
  • Oh DEERS.
  • *insert gnashing and whining along with bad puns*

So, I've been stuck in the terrible wastelands of in-between-insurance-providers. My school insurance, while technically still active until January 31, is essentially worthless outside of Minnesota, and Tricare (shiny new military insurance) is apparently quite a hassle to get enrolled in.

Rough Guide to Getting on Tricare
1. Get enrolled in DEERS (a very charming acronym for a horrifically long name which seems to just mean 'military family members'). This involves first making an appointment by either calling their phone number, which has thus far always resulted in a busy signal, or going to Darling Hall (appropriate name for enrolling new spouses, no? big scary building, though - I'd take a picture to show you if it were legal) and waiting in line for several years to speak with somebody.

2. Go to Darling Hall (Noah braved the lengthy in-person wait to make an appointment) with every document you can summon and attempt to convince them that you're a real person who is actually married to someone in the military.

3. Be rejected because your official birth certificate (the certified one that you've had essentially since birth) is old-school and doesn't have a parent's name on it. This means that you are clearly not who you say you are (or who all of my dozen pieces of other identification say you are) and should not be offered any government services.

4. Spend several hours on the internets trying to figure out how to get a new-style birth certificate.

5. Apply for new-style birth certificate.

6. Become aware that since your name has recently changed, you are clearly not who you say you are and must provide additional documentation.

7. Make your way through Georgia's version of a blizzard (laughably little snow, but ice on all the roads) to the FedEx office to fax them more forms.

8. Discover that they didn't like how you faxed them and return the next day to do it again.

9. Form-faxing success achieved! Wait five days for it to arrive in the mail. Sacrifice goat to increase odds of birth certificate arriving in time to get signed up for Tricare starting February 1. If it arrives after the 19th, insurance probably won't get started until March 1, since clearly it is impossible to enroll someone in the middle of a month.

And that's as far as we've gotten. We're waiting for the form to come so we can sign up for DEERS so I can get enrolled in Tricare. And if that doesn't work out... Well, I don't know. I've been feeling Buckethead (er, James - yeah, him) move a lot, so I'm not really concerned that there's any danger, but it's kind of scary being in the land of the uninsured.

I think I'm just going to assume it'll all work out until I discover it won't and then go from there.


Rhianna H said...

Psh, people have given birth without insurance for millions of years. However, they usually had trusty older female relatives who knew a thing or two about child birth. Also the death rate was higher...however, it is always an alternative.

If you can find it online, you should watch the documentary "The Business of Being Born" for some funsies while waiting around for insurance to clear. It's on Netflix if you and Noah have that.

Rosa said...

I've lived in the land of the uninsured for years-glad I'm not pregnant though-that'd be more of a concern. At least you started care and have prenatal vitamins and know what to avoid and what to ingest so you'll be fine. Hope it comes through soon for you. Did you get to eat any of the sacrificed goat? Put it on a little pita bread with some onions and tomatoes-yum!

TeamOSM said...

Haha, sorry the pesky BLIZZARD OF 2011 has messed everything up! We only have like 10 snow plows in Atlanta (according to an amusing photo I've seen on Facebook, which is gospel truth, you know) so we don't handle winter weather well here!

Being uninsured is no big deal, at least not in the military. And it will all work out and Buckethead will cost you like 25 bucks, just like all the other military babies. =)

I liked the Business of Being Born movie with my first pregnancy. The second time, it irritated the crap out of me, because this one guy was basically saying, "If you have a c-section, you will not bond with your baby". I wanted to kick him in his teeth. AND HE WAS FRENCH. Double kick. Also? A MAN. He knows nothing about birth. Period. lol