"I'm sorry, we no longer accept ..."

Ease of appointments, little or no paperwork, just be there on-time, and no concerns about the insurance companies paying the health care providers ...  Most folks, and many spouses believe that our active duty milspouses have it made in the realm of dental and medical care -- and to be sure, I for one managed to be managed just fine thankyouverymuch for 26 years.  Then my flip to being a F/M ... the ol' D/H of yore.  But then I learned of the ease, quality and breadth of dental care available to family members.  Having trod both sides, I believe that we actually have it better than our milspouses who get the "free" care... how so, you ask?

For one thing, we get twice yearly cleanings (to their once yearly cleanings) with multiple facets of dental care available to us, all for the asking (presuming you're milspouse is having the premium taken out of the monthly pay).  So I readily jumped onto this twice yearly thing as I really want to be smiling out of my casket with all those teeth being mine.  So the uneasiness of being in a dentists office is offset by the availability of quality care ... a tedious balance at best.

But then unexpectedly, it strikes -- those dreaded words ...

We No Longer Accept United Concordia insurance ... There I was, little crab claw bib around my neck, a single bright light in my eyes, nervous sweat rolling down my back, a tray covered with all those little hooks of sharpened steel capable of nicking only the piece of gumline at the point between two teeth where all of my arteries pass, and ... it seemed I was about to have to pay for this ride.

Fortunately, just before I started baying like the hounds on the moors, the very nice dentist said, "you look surprised, didn't you get my letter?"  Ha!  That's what they ALL ask, I bet.  I sez "no" and he cut me a deal -- an inspection and a cleaning for only my first born!  Ha! Again!  My first born is a Shih Tzu whose vet bills alone will FAR exceed his charges to me!  (and yes, Shih Tzu Happens...)  but I digress ...

Lesson learned -- don't presume that any of your civilian health care providers will always accept/or continue to accept TRICARE or United Concordia or any of the other insurance providers.  Always ask when confirming the appointment and yes, ask again at check-in ... might just save you from getting into the Shih Tzu too deep. O&O, MaintenanceToadOne

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