The families of military members face challenges of their own during the member’s time of service. While dealing with deployments, relocation and other aspects of military life can be stressful, the benefits provided to family members seek to make life easier for military members and their families. The federal government provides a lot benefits to family members, but many other benefits are also provided by outside companies and organizations who simply recognize the hard work that goes into being part of a military family.
All immediate military family members have access to the superior healthcare provided by the military. Family members may choose to enroll in Tricare Prime, Tricare Standard or Tricare Extra. With Tricare Prime, military family members receive treatment at Military Treatment Facilities (MTF) or pay a small amount for services through Primary Care Managers (PCMs) and overnight hospital stays. Through Tricare Standard, military family members pay an annual deductible and 20 percent of all medical care costs throughout the year. With Tricare Standard, family members have the ability to choose from a wide selection of authorized providers instead of seeking care at an MTF. Tricare Extra works with many of the same conditions at standards, but the government pays 85 percent of all charges. Dental and vision benefits may also be purchased for an additional cost no matter what Tricare option is chosen.
All military members receive life insurance policies as part of their pay and benefits packages. These policies help family members in the event of a casualty during active duty. In addition, military members may purchase life insurance policies through the Family Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance. Through this program, spouses of military members may receive up to $100,000 in life insurance and dependents are eligible to receive up to $10,000. Each $10,000 increment costs between 50 cents and $5 a month.
Goods and Services
Families of military members have access to the base commissaries and exchange stores. A military ID will gain family members access to these military stores which offer discounts on groceries and other household goods. Military families also have access to Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) activities, including libraries, bowling alleys, movie theaters and other recreation facilities. These facilities offer free and reduced price activities for military members and their families.
Through the Military Spouse and Family Educational Assistance Programs, military family members receive educational and job support. Military spouses may receive up to $4,000 to help with training or cover the costs of a degree program related to a portable career field. In addition, military members have the option to transfer their Post 9/11 GI Bill® benefits to their spouses or dependents.
Many scholarship organizations also offer scholarships and programs designed for military spouses and dependents. While not promoted by the Department of Defense, these programs can help cover college tuition and other education expenses for military families.
A lot of private organizations offers special discounts and services for military members and their families. When eating out, shopping or seeking professional services, military families should inquire about military discounts. Some organizations limit the discounts to a special day or a single item while others offer a consistent five or ten percent discount. A valid military ID is usually required to take advantage of the discounts.