Tricare-eligible U.S. Veterans can save thousands

One of my chemo meds was about to cost me thousands or at least many hundreds of bucks per month despite the best efforts of a devoted (a vet himself), highly experienced, full-time, professional pharmaceuticals procurer at my oncology clinic. It also required weeks to months of legal hoops and appeals just to get it approved from specialty pharmacies who deal only in such drugs.

Enter Tricare. A couple of phone calls from me directly to them got full approval for delivering that drug and two other specialty chemo drugs straight to my front door ... refrigerated ... for $20 apiece including drugs and shipping ... for a 90-day supply and plenty of 90-day refills @ $20 a pop.

The heck with CVS, Community/Walgreens, etc. If you don't have Medicare Part D (if you're eligible for Tricare, you don't want Part D), log onto or call ExpressScripts/Tricare at (877) 363-1303. It's one of the few instances in which our veterans medical benefits actually pay off as promised.

15 Replies

  • Too true for we life members of the Agent Orange Health Club.

  • Them, too, but not just them. Although I'm a Viet Nam Era vet, I was never in country. It's not just for Agent Orange or even just PC ... it's available to anyone eligible for Tricare benefits.

    I once felt a bit guilty about applying for disabilities considering that I was never in combat, but a one-on-one, face-to-face discussion of that with the Washington, DC HQ VA person in charge of all VA benefits changed my mind. She said something like, "Without non-combat troops (i.e., the majority of our military), the combat troops would starve, run out of gas and bullets, and have to wear dirty underwear. Apply for every hangnail you ever got, let us decide what's worthy of compensation, and be proud of what you did for your combat brethren and for your country."

    That worked.

  • True. I Never ran into the problems reported in the news in over 35 yrs of use.

  • Same here. I haven't seen the onerous delays the media whine about ... just an often literally (IMO) criminal level of medical incompetence and refusal of CLEARLY justified care, such as surgery for a service-connected disability (had to use my wife's insurance) and refusal to check my PSA just as it went critical with metastases. I will never trust another VA provider to treat me, allow any VA hospital to do any more medical procedures on me, nor spend another night(mare) in a VA recovery ward. They're just too dangerous.

  • It's so true. I would not have made it through Nam without you guys backing us up. You had our six. So many critical support tasks to the troops for which all Nam vets are grateful. Thanks for your support. I too suffer with prostrate cancer.

  • It still beggars belief that all countries don't have a health system like the U.K.

  • You don't need Tricare...any Vet can apply for the VA health benefits...I did and any drug is $8.00 including Xtandi


  • I believe that getting VA health benefits is income dependent- unless you have a VA disability. Then income is not a factor in your application. I was turned down due to household income- wife's, not mine. But it seems any percentage disability will alleviate the income criteria as I understand it.

  • They changed the rules and based it on available funds..evaluating every year..then they changed the rules and made it permanent..might be different now..I got it with high 6 figures

  • Not me, they told me too go away. Well, figuratively. I'm in the system now and I'm working on a VA Claim for exposure to AO and hearing loss/tinitus. If any of that is approved, it'll all change for me. BTW- do you have a VA Disability rating?

  • Getting a disability application approved can take years, and is deliberately heavily biased against approval. Many of my 19 approved disabilities* took > 20 years to get approved even though they pay zero compensation (even the ones they pay for took many years). And get this: I pay them out of my own pocket. i.e., the disability compensation I get from the VA is deducted from my Air Force pension. My only benefit from those is that the VA doesn't tax them.

    * When I retired at 20 years, we were told to get in the VA system and apply for compensation for every hangnail we ever got in cases it becomes serious some day. That advice has helped me significantly, but I still don't get one cent for my service-connected tinnitus, service-connected total deafness in one ear, or service-connected inability to hear conversations in the presence of ANY sound besides one other person's voice. The only compensation I get from my service-connected complete ear failure is for the imbalance it causes (I stagger like a drunk many times a day and fall almost every day).

    VA disability pay is boosted if the vet is married. However, the VA conveniently and mistakenly declared me single years after I retired, stopped paying the marriage benefit without informing me, and after I proved that it was their paperwork error (our very active and uninterrupted marriage at 47 years and counting) still refused to back-pay the benefit for the years they screwed us.

    They are not on our side at all.

    I assume that "It still beggars belief that all countries don't have a health system like the U.K" is a joke, if "beggars belief" implies that would be desirable. But most PC (now we're confusing Prostate Cancer with Political Correctness) forums I've seen angrily refuse to see or discuss the big overlap between those two interpretations of "PC".

    Tricare and the VA are indeed unrelated ... thank God. The former seems to be on our side (they eagerly sought, encouraged, and facilitated my pharmaceutical business), while the latter seems to resent vets except for the job security they provide. Almost ANY new face at the top would have to be an improvement over the last few decades of VA leadership. I can't even get a PSA check out of the VA despite proof my PC is service-connected and VA-exacerbated, and many formal written complaints to many VA headquarters and more verbal complaints and requests (I try to be cordial and factual about it) to individual VA people have achieved nothing at all ... usually not even a response. If I weren't a freaking pit bull on steroids with stuff like this, I'd have lost all VA benefits and some USAF benefits decades ago. I hope to hell I can succeed in getting my medically service-connected PC formally acknowledged as service-connected in the few remaining years* I may have left, as that would let my widow receive compensation after I'm gone.

    * I've been trying for a decade, but my ear failure compensation took longer than that to get, so I'm not giving up. And Medicare is next, with their bean-counters' decree that my fourth c-11 choline scan was not warranted. If the Mayo Clinic can't overturn that, Medicare will wish they had never tried that crap on me. I have hundreds of pages of highly condensed medical proof it was well-justified. I've beaten institutions Medicare's size before with facts, logic, and federal court testimony, and hope that level of effort isn't necessary this time.

    How the HELL do people with actual responsibilities in their lives have the time to protect themselves?

  • Your are a warrior for everyone that deals with the V. A. ..

  • Of course is my immediate reaction. Why would you NOT have gone to/thru TriCare immediately?

    herb s

  • Because I used to use the even cheaper VA system for any "drugs" I used repeatedly, from Metamucil to Omeprazole. Then I went for years without any repeated drugs and didn't need the VA or Tricare. Walmart charges just $4 for most prescription meds, and it's SO simple.

    Then came ADT and chemo with some 18 drugs, some expensive even after my other insurers (Medicare and my wife's federal government policy) pay their part. I could go through the VA and probably get any of them free after jumping through months of flaming hoops, but keeping the VA out of the picture is worth a hundred bucks a year to me. I know damned well they'd find some way to screw it all up, and can even guess how because they've done it before with service-connected meds. I can't risk them just deciding without warning that they're not going to pay for today's chemo infusion or ADT injection.

  • Unbelievably poor institution,but the tip govern misconduct.

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