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June is PTSD awareness month

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Awareness Month is June

Tips for Dealing with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder


Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a medical condition where the body experiences difficulty coping with severe stress. There are many triggers, but it is commonly diagnosed in combat Veterans. PTSD can also be caused by witnessing or living through shocking events such as accidents or crimes.


In order to know how to deal with a loved one with PTSD, it is important to understand the symptoms. Symptoms can vary in length, intensity, and may even come and go. Veterans and others who suffer from PTSD may experience some or all of the symptoms. Sleeping issues are commonly associated with PTSD. This may come in the form of insomnia or nightmares. Flashbacks of the traumatic event may be experienced. In addition, panic attacks or extreme anger may be symptoms of PTSD. Others may experience depression and suicidal thoughts and may withdraw from their loved ones altogether. There is often shame and guilt that the PTSD sufferer experiences. So how can family, friends, and caregivers help?


Encourage Your Loved One to Get Treatment

After a loved one has been diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder , it is important that they seek a treatment plan. It often takes time to get the right treatment for the individual with PTSD. It is important to find a doctor who has experience in treating PTSD. For Veterans, the Department of Veterans Affairs can be helpful in connecting the Veteran with an experienced doctor. Counseling is an option for treatment, as well as medication. The symptoms of PTSD may not completely be eradicated with treatment and it may be necessary to try various treatments.


Learn Your Loved One’s PTSD Triggers

Veterans and other individuals suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder often have triggers or something that makes their symptoms worse, like loud noises. If your loved one suffers from PTSD, it is important for those around him or her to learn what those triggers are. Avoiding triggers is optimal, but not always possible. Learning to cope with triggers is one way help the PTSD sufferer.


Encourage Your Loved One to Stay Connected

Isolation and withdrawing from others is a common occurrence with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder sufferers. Although some time alone is fine, find ways to encourage your loved one to avoid isolation. Encourage them to spend time with and keep in touch with friends and family. When your loved one wishes to talk, be available to listen. If possible, find a support group for your loved one. This allows them to find a place where they can be with others who may be experiencing the same symptoms, a safe place to open up, and may help them to feel as though they are not alone.


Know Where to Get Help for Your Loved One 

Often other issues arise when a person suffers from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder , such as uncontrollable anger, drug and alcohol abuse, and suicidal thoughts. It is important to be keenly aware of these things and to take them seriously. If a person with PTSD becomes angry, have a plan for a time out and don’t try to reason with them when they are angry. Encourage healthy habits and calm ways to deal with the anger. If the abuse of alcohol or drugs is a problem, it is important to get help for your loved one because this can greatly impair their ability to heal. Finally, if a PTSD sufferer talks about suicide, take it seriously and intervene.


Living, loving, and caring for someone who suffers from PTSD is no easy feat. Being informed and seeking help can greatly benefit all of those involved. Not only can the person diagnosed with PTSD seek help, but there is also help and support for the loved ones and caregivers. Support groups, churches, hospitals, and the Department of Veterans Affairs can all help family members, friends, and caregivers find support. Confront PTSD and find ways to heal the patient.  Don’t sweep the issue under the proverbial rug.


If you have any questions about something you have read or would like additional information, please feel free to contact us.

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Elderly couple Tricare Bills

What are the New Fees for Tricare for Vets?

What are the New Fees for Tricare for Vets?

If you were to take action now to set up your payment process prior to November 20, you can avoid having to pay enrollment fees in advance.

The Military Times’ recent article entitled “Here’s what military retirees who are affected by new Tricare Select fees should do now” explains that beginning on January 1, these individuals, generally working-age retirees under age 65, will pay $12.50 a month for individual coverage, or $150 annually. Enrollment fees for those with families will be $25 a month, or $300 annually. These fees were put into effect in the Fiscal 2017 National Defense Authorization Act, but delayed until January 2021.

There were 407,431 military retirees and 764,936 retiree family members in Tricare Select at the end of last year, according to a Department of Defense report. It also applies to retirees in the Tricare Overseas Program Select.

These new fees don’t apply to retirees in the Tricare for Life program, and it doesn’t impact Chapter 61 retirees (those getting disability retirement) and their family members, and survivors of deceased active duty service members. Active duty family members don’t pay Tricare Select enrollment fees.

It’s important for affected retirees to set their payment up as soon as possible, says Mark Ellis, chief of policy and programs for the Tricare Health Plan, to avoid having to pay one or two months of premiums in advance. The call takes no more than three minutes, he said.

Retirees should contact their regional Tricare contractor by phone or through their website to set up their fee payment. Officials ask retirees to pay for their Tricare Select coverage by military allotment, if possible, for security. If the premium isn’t paid by January 1, coverage could be forfeited. Under federal law, “we don’t have legal authority to provide care or process claims,” if the fees aren’t paid, Ellis said.

“We realize things happen,” he said, noting that there is a process in place for the Tricare Select retirees to be notified, if, for example, an electronic funds transfer or credit card payment fails to go through. There is a reinstatement period of 90 days, and if the back fees are paid, the coverage can be reinstated back to the day after the retiree stopped paying fees, and coverage is brought up to date. “As long as back fees are paid, we can process denied claims,” Ellis said. “We can’t do it forever, but we do have processes in place.”

The new fees impact retirees and their family members in the so-called “Group A,” which is where the sponsor’s initial enlistment or appointment was before January 1, 2018. The retirees in that group are generally working-age retirees under age 65. They don’t currently pay enrollment fees, but under the National Defense Authorization Act of 2017, Congress required defense officials to start charging these working-age retirees enrollment fees in 2021. The 2020 Tricare open season concludes on December 14.

Reference: Military Times (Oct. 26, 2020) “Here’s what military retirees who are affected by new Tricare Select fees should do now”

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