Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Overseas Screening

We received our "official" orders last Friday, so now the insanity officially begins. First stop is to pass the Overseas Screening. Yes, I said overseas. The military considers Alaska overseas because it is OCONUS (outside of the continental U.S.). In order to be allowed to make an overseas transfer, we are required to pass a screening process that includes medical, dental, and financial information. They want to make sure that we won't need any specialty care that we can't easily access in our new location, and that we aren't in a poor financial position to handle the high cost of living in Alaska. It really does make sense, but it can get very time-consuming.

After all of the hoops we need to jump through to get to the actual packing-up and moving-out stage, we may very well be certified circus performers. The kids are easy. They see civilian medical and dental providers who will complete the necessary forms (that's the 4.H.2, for those wondering). The LT doesn't have it so bad, either. He can make the necessary appointments right at his workplace. I, on the other hand, am a bit more complicated. Because we live near a Navy installation (Naval Submarine Base New London), my primary care doctor is at the Navy base clinic--the clinic at the Coast Guard Academy does not see dependents. I also see civilian specialists and dentists. Rather than the Coast Guard Academy being able to complete all of my paperwork, I have to go through a special office at the Navy base. The past two days have been spent making appointments and dropping off authorization forms to my civilian providers so that the military facility has all of my records up-to-date. The reaction of the dental receptionist when I called to say that I was supposed to have all of this completed within 10 days (making my previously-scheduled appointment in April way too late) was impressive. She made me an appointment for Thursday with the dentist himself doing my cleaning and exam rather than the hygienist, just to make sure all bases are covered. I'm not sure that is a good thing, as my dentist is close to retirement age and does things the old-fashioned way. My mouth aches just thinking about it. But at least it will be done.

In true military clinic fashion, the Navy clinic can't get me in until mid-month, while the Coast Guard expects me to have everything completed within 10 days. I can't just drop off paperwork as I did for the kids...that would be far too easy. Yet another reason to be excited about the move--we will live too far from military medical providers and will be allowed to see anyone we would like, at no cost out-of-pocket (this is called Tricare Prime Remote).

Keeping us organized and on track could easily become a full-time job in the next couple of months. Knowing that in advance, I have put my lia sophia business on the back burner for now. I have access to the new Spring catalog and can place orders, but I'm not planning to do any more parties for now.

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Questions? Helpful advice? Please feel free to drop a comment below!

1 comment:

Jill said...

If anyone can do this, it's you. The fact you even know what a 4.H.2 is - and have the link to it - is not surprising in the least.

I wish you all the very best and if there is anything you need between now and when you head out on your wild, cross-country adventure with two kids, a husband a pooch, let me know. Of course I might be in the midst of my own adventure now that I think about it. Oy.

We will survive this! (Just keep reminding yourself that you wanted AK!!)