Wordy Wednesday: Tricare ABA; Let’s Beat a Dead Horse


Yes, I know. We have touched on this topic before…like 10 times. You read it in your social media feeds almost daily with all the changes, laws, and rants about it. So why am I sitting here wasting your time again? For the same reasons I did last time. Things are a changin’.

First off, let me provide you with this freaking awesome chart explaining the differences in the Tricare ABA programs there currently are- Tricare_ABA_Comparison_Chart_March2014 that was American Military Families Autism Support Community (AMFAS). I belong to the one in our region and the group for the region we are moving too. They each have their own Facebook pages and support groups by location. I’m a big advocate of being able to communicate when you need to communicate immediately to answer questions. I hate mulling over a question I have waiting for a office or store to open their telephone lines or doors. I love social media because I can almost instantaneously get an answer to my question.

I am linked to AMFAS via Facebook and yesterday a new meme caught my eye and sent me into a panic reading over their article.

AMFAS.ORG had that scrolling across my Facebook account. GAH, FFFFFT! Those weren’t exactly the words I used. But for the sake of not offending our readers, I will keep it PG. Enter a few eye rolls and I was more than a little irritated. Riddle me this Batman, didn’t we just go through changes. Changes that were so unrealistic and ridiculous, that they were resended? Um, yea. So why are trying to do this again? Nevertheless, a Tricare ABA consolidation program is coming this year.

I do understand that some of the retirees are not getting the level of care they need and qualify for and there are a few other issues arising from the current programs. However, the more I mull it over I realize this is basically Tricare trying to cut costs again and streamline programs. AMFAS provided two links to reports given to congress

Report 1

Report 2

 

Head on over to AMFAS for more information regarding the Tricare ABA consolidation program.

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Tricare and Therapy Thursday: Tricare to Close All Walk-in Offices 2014


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I don’t know about you, but if I call and get one more automated virtual assistant, I will throw my phone. Whoever invented the “please tell me why you are calling” I will hunt you down. Why? You try calling Tricare or other businesses regarding a question with three screaming kids in the background. It is hard enough without the automated lady; it’s harder when she mistakes your child’s cries as #3 for calling in Chinese. I always felt comfort knowing when something came up I could easily go to our local Tricare office and talk to a live person- in English. However, it looks like even those days are over. Last month it was reported that Tricare will close its walk-in offices due to low number of walk-ins and cost.

In November of this year, Militarytimes.com reported that the 189 walk-in Tricare locations will shut its doors next year (all overseas locations will remain open). So start practicing your Chinese, don’t use a Bluetooth when calling (they seem to never hear me on them) and find a safe, quiet and sane room to conduct your Tricare calls in. And if all else fails- scream human into the phone (yelling “representative” seems to work too).

Wordy Wednesday- Army Acronym with Most Meanings


Holy Moses! So I was trying to think of a word for today and seriously stuck. I think I know what so many mean I over look that so many people don’t and just assume. So many times I have heard Hubs talk about how the Army has an acronym for everything from AAAA to ZULU. I don’t know what was more annoying; an acronym for a single letter Alpha (A) or an acronym that has 18 different meanings. So I decided to do a little investigating and see what all acronyms the Army does use. And then I ran across the mother of all acronyms.

longest Army acrynom

I was totally laughing at myself when I was researching this. Who else would spend time looking for the acronym with the most meanings? This girl! I’ve got one kid down for a nap, one getting his medical treatment and the oldest two playing Wii while he receives it. I could be doing a million and one things right now; like taking a nap. But no, I find this way more interesting. So what is the acronym with the most meanings? 27 meanings; say what!?

I know, I know. Not a totally helpful and resourceful article; but it was a fun one. We always say the Army has an acronym for everything. Here is proof not only do they, they have just a single one that has 27 meanings. I challenge all of you to find me an Army acronym that has more. I don’t know what is more sad; the fact I googled Army acronym with most meanings and found this site or that Google spit out over 45,000,000 results.

Wordy Wenesday- CYS


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It might not be morning anymore where your at, but here in a Hawaii it is. And it is a beautiful one. Only a small cloud cap on the mountain by base; so you can see the observation tower at the top as the clouds pass.

But I’m not writing to boast about my amazing life here; well sometimes {wink}. This morning I was planning on re-registering my three spawn with Child and Youth Services(CYS). Before now all three had expiration dates in three different months. Finally, I let SB’s lapse and I’m going to do Bugs early. Maybe we can finally get them on the same schedule?

So what is Child and Youth Service? (CYS)? For us here in Hawaii, and I think most military installations, CYS is under MWR (Morale, Welfare and Recreation). Under MWR you will find a lot of helpful programs from a Scream-Free Parenting course, New Baby Program and how to sign up for swim lessons. The most important department for me under MWR is Child and Youth Services (CYS).

At CYS, the one thing you need to do and know is this is where you go to register your children for sports, Parents Night Out (if your base supports this), after school programs, hourly care and more. Mainly if you want your child to participate in anything on base, they will need to be registered with CYS.

I probably picked the wrong month to have my children re-registered with CYS. This is a yearly re-registration you will have to do. Why is August a bad month? Well one of the requirements is a up to date physical and shots. Which means you will be battling all those parents (like I did yesterday) trying to get their children up to date for school enrollment. But to help limit the time I linked up the Hawaii CYS registration packet that can be found online. I am assuming that some of the forms are Army wide. If you plan on downloading please make sure you print off the ones that are relevant for you.

Hawaii CYS Registration Packet 

 

Have a beautiful day!

 

Tricare/Therapy Thursdays- Myths About EFMP


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I got some “great” advice when we first entered the Army- Dont register for EFMP. <— that was sarcasm, did you see that? Because signing up for EFMP is the real great advice. But your probably asking what the heck is EFMP.


According to Military One Source

What is the Exceptional Family Member Program?

The EFMP supports military families with special medical and educational needs. The program has three components:

  • Identification and enrollment of a family member with special medical or educational needs
  • Assignment coordination to determine the availability of services at the projected duty station
  • Family support to help families identify and access programs and service”

EFMP is a confidential program. It is on a need to know basis. Basically it’s main purpose is to assist with assignment purposes only. Enrolling in EFMP will not increase or decrease your chances at unaccompanied or accompanied tours or deployments.

In order to enroll in EFMP here are some helpful forms:

DD Form 2792

DD Form 2792-1

Ok, now that we got the basics out of the way, lets talk about some of the myths; including the reason behind why I was told to never go on EFMP.

Myth 1: Your husband will never be promoted
This is the reason I was told as a brand spanking new Army wife to never enroll a family member in EFMP. I was told the reasoning was because if we enrolled in EFMP, it will show the solider has to much going on in his personal life to be able to handle the tasks and job in the Army.

Myth 2: It limits your duty station; in so facto, limits promotions
This is one reason you need to enroll in EFMP if you qualify. By enrolling in EFMP you will be ensured that you are only PCSed to locations that can handle your medical needs. Every base has a radius of medical care doctors, therapists, and the like have to be within. Example: While stationed at Fort Rucker, AL, we were told upon our overseas EFMP screening that Fort Rucker’s radius for medical care is 40 miles. They explained that since care for our son was over the 40 mile radius, as dependents we can not be stationed at Fort Rucker again. However, Hubs can still go to Fort Rucker for schooling, classes and presumably be stationed there. As dependents we would have to find alternative lodging. So I was shocked when we got orders to Hawaii. I underestimated the medical system here. “Tripler Army Medical Center is the only federal tertiary care hospital in the Pacific Basin”, per TAMC’s website.

Myth 3: EFMP is only for the severely disabled
Um, no. All three of my children are on EFMP. They walk, talk, eat and poop just the same as you and me (well, mostly). Enrolling them on EFMP was to ensure that when we did PCS from Hawaii, we would move to a place that meet all their needs for medical and therapies. That, however, does not mean medical and therapies will be open when arriving to our new duty station. I know for certain there are wait lists at specific bases for ABA and respite.

Myth 4: Being on EFMP puts you first on the priority list for housing
Oh, how I wish I knew about how that worked when we moved here (and lived in a hotel for 59 days). Enrolling in EFMP only means there are needs that need to be meet. And as you know, everyone has different needs; not everyone needs are the same. For example, I have three kids with three different reason for enrollment on EFMP. With that being said, you need to submit your paperwork to housing for them to make the judgement if you qualify for special housing or priority on a wait list. Had I known this we would have been bumped up on the wait list. In Hawaii, they then submit our EFMP paperwork to the medical board who makes the decision whether or not we need priority or special housing. To find out what paperwork is needed, please call your housing office on post. I suggest calling before you PCS so you can make sure you have all needed documents on hand or if possible provide them ahead of your arrival.

Myth 5: Being enrolled in EFMP makes the service member non-deployable
HAHAHAAHA! Sorry for laughing, but I can tell you that my husband just did a 12 month deployment and we have three (two at the time) children on EFMP and one has a life-long, life-threatening condition. A service members status is always deployable.

Just remember the service member is at the needs of the Army. The EFMP is to help the family members enrolled. Giving the service member the reassurance that his/her families health needs will be taken care of at their duty station makes a prepared and ready service member. My husband found solace in knowing that his family was taken care of when he deployed. And he finds that same solace in knowing when we PCS again that we will only go where our children will be taken care of. Even if that means accepting another tour here. He has never been told our EFMP status has effected his work or his promotion status. And most people at his work do not even know that he has three children on EFMP.

EFMP can be a great source of help and assistance. Please don’t be afraid of enrolling, and actually you HAVE to enroll if you are instructed to by your doctor.

Her & Nicole