The Health Insurance Dilemma

This is sort of a dull topic, but I'm reaching out to my Foreign Service friends for help. John and I have been very lucky not to have to think about health care for the past ten years. We've been mostly happy with Tricare, particularly since it's free. Even after I switched to Tricare Standard so I could choose my own doctors, the costs were minimal. I wish things were that simple in the Foreign Service, but unfortunately, they actually require you to make decisions for yourself. Well, some decisions anyway. This post about Drexel Heritage furniture makes it clear that there are some decisions that should definitely NOT be left up to the FS.

It seems like it comes down to Blue Cross Blue Shield and the Foreign Service Benefit Plan. If anyone has any input on either, I'm all ears!

Meanwhile, we are exactly one month from our move day. Excuse me while I go freak out for a moment.

Note to self: Avoid high ledges for the next 4 weeks. Photo by Sarah Joseph

Okay, I'm back. I hope to see as many of you as possible in the little time I have left here. Meanwhile, I'm off to meet my good friends' new baby tomorrow. Happy Friday!


  1. My hubby has Blue Cross/Blue Shield and hates it. But maybe you guys will get better deals with it than us? He was never in the service.

  2. We love FSBP. No issues w it so far, and we even get massages and chiropractor reimbursed (all the way from Manila too!). Being able to scan receipts and get refund direct deposited makes things a lot easier too!

    1. Oh that's good to know... we're about to submit receipts for that. Do you happen know if there's an annual limit on reimbursement for PT/massage/etc?

  3. I didn't realize Blue Cross Blue Shield was an option, though I used to have it when I was Stateside. We have the Foreign Service Benefit Plan. So far so good, but we're just about to file our first claims. I like their online companion site for prescriptions - really simple to use.

  4. I have BCBS and it's fine except one MAJOR thing -- no mail order prescription coverage. This means you can't get medicine through the pouch/DPO. Now if you're living in a developed enough place that you can actually go to a pharmacy, which I think you are, that might not be a problem. Otherwise I've been totally happy with it. I think I paid a total of $150 for my entire pregnancy/delivery. No other medical issues except some routine checkup stuff...

  5. Good luck with the decision! I would totally and 100% recommend FSBP. We had BCBS when I had a major health crisis and, well, we promptly switched to FSBP at the next opportunity. They pay much more, are SO much easier to work with and cover massage...that did it for me. ~Jen

  6. You already know my vote - FSBP all the way. Unless you know you'll be in the USA for a big chunk of time and not in the DC area, as I keep finding providers who don't what Coventry is and don't think they accept it.

  7. You guys are all awesome! Looks like FSBP it is! I have a monthly prescription that I definitely want to get through the mail, and once I tell John about the massages, I think the deal will be sealed :) Thanks for all the input!


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