Male Spouse Resources
A List of Basic Acronyms and Terms for the Rookies - Part 1
Start learning what in the world your wife and her co-workers are talking about today! This is a basic, beginners list of military acronyms (something the military is very fond of creating).
Let's be honest. You won't make it 6 months without some of this basic communication knowledge.
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OK, here is an important topic USAA wrote about a few months ago and we obtained permission to re-post on Macho Money. For those of you who are new to the military, you will receive your health insurance from Tricare. Tricare is offered to all active duty members and their dependents. Once your active duty spouse retires, your family is eligible for Tricare For Life. However, if you guys decide to separate from the military before retirement qualifications are met, you aren't eligible for Tricare. At this point the VA may be an option, but there are specific eligibility requirements so not everyone will qualify...plus the VA doesn't cover dependents. So, for many of us, the pain of shopping for health insurance is inevitable.
Health insurance coverage is available to more Americans than ever under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), which created a marketplace of plans with a range of costs and benefits.
But before you start shopping around, it's wise to think about your needs and budget to find the best plan for you and your family.
Here's how to weigh your health insurance coverage options:
Figure out your budget. Your first move should be determining whether you're eligible for a health care subsidy under the ACA, says Bob Lord, product management director of health solutions for USAA. If your income is less than 400% of the federal poverty level, you may qualify. The subsidies are based on the second-lowest cost silver ACA plan in your area and can be applied toward more or less costly plans. "Understanding what you can afford outside of whatever the ACA is going to provide for you is powerful knowledge," Lord says.
Estimate your household health care expenses. If you are young, single and healthy, you likely won't be using services that often, and preventive visits are one of a range of essential health benefits covered under all plan levels. But families with young children can find themselves on a first-name basis with the staff at their pediatrician's office, so they should consider a plan that offers co-pays for office visits.
Peruse prescription benefits. If someone in your family is on maintenance prescription drugs, see what they'll cost. Health plans have a formulary — a list of prescription drugs they cover. Lord suggests choosing a plan where the formulary includes any brand-name drugs you use, as they are covered at a higher level.
Decide if you'll see Dr. Who. If keeping your current health care provider is important to you, find a plan with your provider in its network. Out-of-network providers are covered at a lower rate, if at all, than those in network. Conversely, if you find a plan that saves you a lot of money but makes your doctor or specialist out of network, weigh the savings versus having to switch providers.
Members with questions about health insurance coverage should contact USAA.
"We can help point them in the right direction if we have policies available or to the appropriate state-regulated or federal exchange," Lord says.
To get started, visit the USAA Health Insurance Marketplace.
(Note: USAA did not pay for this post, we re-posted because it is good information. If you, or your company/organization, would like to offer more insight on this subject please feel free to contact us.)
When TownePlace Suites reached out and asked if I would be interested in writing a few blog posts about their hotels, I immediately said “yes.” I always enjoy reviewing products and services I've used and appreciate, plus TownePlace offered a few free nights for my efforts. Pssst…don't tell them, but that really wasn't necessary.
How many of you have ever stayed in one of their hotels? My first experience with a TownePlace Suite was at the Colorado Springs South location near Peterson Air Force Base. We were preparing to PCS from Peterson to Little Rock and had run into a slight problem selling our first house. We sold it way too fast! I know, I know…a great problem to have, but it was still a problem. We had no place to stay while Dana waited for her official orders to leave and that was expected to take several weeks. Since it was the start of “PCS season,” rooms were impossible to get on base, plus I was still working my civilian job and relocating to an on-base location would've been very inconvenient. When Dana brought up the idea of an extended stay hotel, I admit to being pretty skeptical. We have a dog. We are clean freaks. We like our own space. We need convenience. Creature comforts such as clean, soft bedding and strong water pressure are a must. Moving from our house to basically an efficiency apartment was not my idea of comfort!
It didn't take long for us to find TownePlace Suites through a simple internet search; their south location looked good so we felt we should give them a try. Driving up to the property helped put me more at ease since the building and landscaping looked clean and well-kept, so well-kept in fact that before checking in I asked Dana if she was sure these guys welcomed pets. Not only did they welcome our dog Brutus, they actually appeared happy to see him! I immediately got a taste of the staff's friendly professionalism once they allowed us to inspect our room before booking. I guess since we were staying there for a few weeks they wanted to make sure we would be happy with the accommodations. To my surprise the room was bigger than I expected, the king-sized bed looked very clean and firm, the carpets were in great shape, the bathroom passed my cleanliness inspection ( including a water pressure test in the shower), and the kitchenette was complete with microwave, sink, and refrigerator. I didn't take photos, but the ones on their website are accurate.
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I did a "soft launch" of the
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A resource that is worth checking out is SpouseLink.org. Â Their media team describes SpouseLink.org as a "free website linking military spouses together through supportive, informative, and inspiring content." Â That sounded interesting enough, so we decided to take their website for a little test-drive. Â What we found is a clean, easy-to-navigate site that's full of solid information thatÂ includes Â posts Â ranging Â from Â spouse Â careers Â and Â financial Â advice Â to Â parenting Â and Â Military Â transitions. Â SpouseLink.org is actually a product of AAFMAA (American Armed Forces Mutual Aid Association), a non-profit membership association supporting our military community with insurance, financial planning, and survivor assistance for widows and widowers. Â Guys, you will notice that their spouse content is a little "feminine heavy." Â No worries, we're teaming up with them to help share some of our stuff from this website. Â So they are well aware that male spouses exist!
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By Craig Gilman
Faculty Member at American Military University
Are you on the move? Summer is a time of transition and change for the military child. For many service members and their families, summer is the time when permanent changes of duty station (PCS) occur. While there is often excitement about moving to a new location, there is also a tremendous amount of stress. This can be especially true for the children of military families who often both suffer the sadness of leaving their old friends, school, jobs and community behind and deal with the anxiety of establishing themselves when arriving at their new home.
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The following article on PTSD was written by American Military University faculty member, Craig Gilman.
June is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Awareness Month. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) states that “PTSD affects about 7.7 million American adults, but it can occur at any age, including childhood. Women are more likely to develop PTSD than men, and there is some evidence that susceptibility to the disorder may run in families.”
Male spouses should note that statistics indicate their female spouses are more likely to develop PTSD than men. All parents should realize that children are susceptible, as well. Visit the NIMH PTSD site for a comprehensive overview of the causes, symptoms, treatments and tips for living with PTSD. If you suspect a loved one might suffer from PTSD, professional diagnosis and counseling should be strongly pursued.
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We maintain hundreds of military and non-military resources in one user-friendly directory were visitors can find links to career tools, hiring fairs, educational scholarships, PTSD help, health insurance, buying or renting a home, financial assistance, and more!
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If you spend a lot of time on Xbox 360 playing Call of Duty or Halo, you may have a decent handle on the US Military Ranks for Officers and Enlisted for one or maybe two branches of service. However, you can't rely on "gamer cred" to help you remember all of the ranks for all of the US military Service branches.
Here are some rank insignia charts for the United States Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard. Learn 'em. It's good to know who your wife salutes or who has to salute your wife.
(Oh, and gamers don't look for those high ranks and insignia that you see in Call of Duty. They're not real.)