Tricare and Therapy Thursday: Medical Radius


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When we were awaiting orders we dreamed at all the amazing possibilities for our first duty station. I never dreamed I would ever move away from my home town, let alone, home state. Then there we were waiting to see if we would be moving to another country. When the word came in it was a like a bomb had gone off. We didn’t know what to think or how to react. We were scrambling to pick up the pieces and quickly get our affairs in order. We didn’t get Germany as we had always dreamed, and what we did wasn’t even on our radio as a possibility. But there we were faced with a realization we needed to get packing… and fast.

One of the steps you take when moving to a new base is often clearing EFMP. If you don’t know what EFMP is, take a quick read over at a article we wrote a while back.  For the rest of us, lets move on.

During our personal process of EFMP screening when leaving our last post we had to go through the EFMP clearance process. What we told was a scary realization we had not realized was going to be a issue. Due to the medical radius of the base we were currently at, we, as dependents, were told we could never reside there again (there are always ways around this). Why? The medical radius for that particular base was 40 miles. Care for my child had to be within those 40 miles. It was not! It was a 3 hour one way drive to a larger city to find the medical specialty he needed for care and his weekly medical treatments. That’s right folks. I was drive 3 hours one way for a 30 minute appointment 2-4 times a week! A WEEK!!!!!

So the questions come. I know your thinking them.

1) How were you still stationed at the post if you were traveling outside the medical radius that often for care?

Our son was diagnosed with his medical condition after we had been stationed at the base. They were in a frantic search for someone in the state to be able to manage his care. Due to the isolated location of the base, honestly, there was no medical care within the 40 miles. So (here is where an exception comes in), somewhere along the lines they approved his EFMP paperwork that stated he needed said medical care outside of the radius. It seems however, some where along the way no one really noticed how far we were driving. Upon exiting and pcsing from said base, this is when they caught it and said there was no way we could live there as dependents.

2) If you can’t live there as dependents what happens if your spouse is stationed there?

Great question. No real answer. We have yet to reach that point, but I have a feeling we are going to get our answer shortly. Due to the high specialty of the medical care Bug needs and the combination of the MOS Hubs does, we are very limited to bases that can accommodate both. We are literally currently trying to figure this out. However, from I have have been told in the past it would resemble something like an unaccompanied tour for Hubs. Which will not fly with me. Sorry, but separating me and three small children (all requiring specialized care) from my husband will require you to sedate me and lock me up. All that will do is create more hardship on my family. I would rather drive 3 hours for a 30 min appointment to be able to keep our family together. But there in lines a greater question- would staying together do you more harm than good?

3) What is the medical radius for my base?

In order to find that out you will need to contact your base or your gaining base EFMP office. Every base is different. Some bases have larger radius than others.

4) What will happen if you can’t find a base with medical needs and your husbands job?

Another amazing question and another one I am in the process of discovering. Where there is a will there is a way. The way? Talking to my children’s doctors and explaining to them the situation.  If we are having this issues, I am sure other families in the past have had similar if not the same issues. And I am sure the mommy in that family was just as feisty as me to find a way to make it all happen.

5) Do you want to move?

That is the question of the year. I have also wrote about this a bit earlier this year; the first time we were told we were pcsing (which was a lie!). We are now facing the same situation again, just a different base. Yes, we want to move. There are so many reasons that will end up being another post.

Ideally in the end we will move to a base that will have both the medical care we need and Hubs job. Realistically that will probably never happen and we might be stuck in paradise forever. If not paradise forever, then an base with limited medical access that will require weekly road trips but our family will be together.

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