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TRICARE Mental Health

NMFA Continues to Monitor Mental Health Networks During TRICARE Contract Transition

May 18, 2017

Many thanks to military families for alerting us to concerns about TRICARE’s mental health provider network. As many of you know, TRICARE’s managed care support contracts will transition on January 1, 2018. Health Net will administer the West Region while Humana will manage the East Region (a combination of the current TRICARE North and South Regions.) Military families in the East Region contacted our Association with concerns about mental health providers leaving the TRICARE network due to reduced reimbursement rates. We take…

We Are All Advocates: NMFA Executive Director Shares Tips for Making a Difference

May 16, 2017

“Know your rights as a military spouse and family, and as an American citizen,” National Military Family Association Executive Director Joyce Raezer told a room full of military spouses and supporters May 12 in Washington, D.C. Raezer spoke on the “Advocacy 101” panel of Homefront Rising’s 2017 conference, along with Ashley Broadway Mack (American Military Partners Association), and Megan Poane (U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Hiring Our Heroes). The panel aimed to teach military spouses how to make a differe…

Interstate Compact Roadblocks

How To PCS-Proof Your Mil-Kid’s Education

May 9, 2017

Moving can be an exciting adventure to a new land, but there are bound to be some worries of what may lie ahead—especially for military kids, who move an average of 9 times before they graduate from high school. Being prepared beforehand can help keep some of those worries at bay, especially when it concerns your child’s education. Military Interstate Compact “The Compact” is an agreement between all 50 states, and the District of Columbia, designed to smooth the transition for military-connected kids as they move bet…

Military Spouse 101 Classes

Military Spouse 101 Classes: Do They Really Help?

May 5, 2017

Becoming a military spouse can be full of happiness, frustration, anxiety, excitement, and host of other mixed emotions. It’s becoming more common for new spouses to look for information and resources about military life through internet search engines or social media. While these may be great methods for researching and connecting virtually with others who have walked the milspouse path, there’s just one missing element to this formula: face-to-face connection! There’s just nothing quite like learning from people living the s…

FAFSA Impact 360px

Heads Up on Student Loan Snag

May 2, 2017

If you haven’t filled out your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the upcoming 2017-2018 school year, you better start soon, or you may find yourself ineligible to receive additional funding through state or institutional grants. Applying for financial aid can be a confusing process, and it’s about to get even more confusing. Without warning, the IRS removed its Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) from the FAFSA website on March 3, citing a data breach that may have affected up to 100,000 tax-payers. The DRT was designed …

group of girls

Supporting Beyond Month of the Military Child

April 28, 2017

America’s military, and the families who stand behind them, has changed. When NMFA began its journey in supporting military families, the majority of draftees were single. Today, almost 50% of service members are married, with nearly two million children in tow. As the nation’s military evolved, military families began experiencing unprecedented levels of stress. To help them cope, we created Operation Purple Camps (OPC), which focuses on bringing military children together to summer camps around the country for a free week of fun…

TRICARE Dental Program Changes

Changes Coming to the TRICARE Dental Program

April 10, 2017

Changes are coming for military families covered by the TRICARE Dental Program. United Concordia will begin administering the TRICARE Dental Program as of May 1, 2017 for dependents of active duty, National Guard, and Reserve service members. Retirees and their families are not affected by this change and will still be covered under a separate TRICARE dental program. What’s changing with the dental plan? Certain coverages are expanding under United Concordia, including the annual maximum benefit, which will increase from $1,300 to $1,…

Air Force Family

Military Families Brace for What’s Next In Syria

April 7, 2017

It has been less than 24 hours since President Trump ordered an airstrike on a Syrian airbase, and military families are watching intently. According to news sources, almost 100 innocent Syrian civilians—including children and even babies—died from the effects of the recent chemical weapons attack and many others continue to suffer. In his press conference, President Trump called on all civilized nations “to end the bloodshed in Syria and end terrorism of all kinds and of all types.” The Syrian government reportedly ha…

National Guard + Reserve Family Support

National Guard and Reserve Families: We Know You Need Support, Too

April 5, 2017

The National Guard and Reserve troops make up approximately 40-50% of the military forces deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, and the Army projects an increase in the use of Reserve Soldiers in 2017 to meet operational needs. But unlike active duty, Reserve and Guard families often do not live anywhere near a major military installation, and with that distance, the vital link of support for those military families is missing—especially during a deployment. According to Robyn Mroszczyk, a Family Program specialist at the National Guard Bu…

6 Military Life Apps

Military Life? There’s An App for That!

March 28, 2017

There are so many logistical nightmares that accompany this awesome, crazy military life. Whether it’s maintaining a relationship during deployment, moving around over and over again, or trying to navigate parental duties when you’re solo, military families could use some life-hacks that are specific to our challenges and everyday life. Well guess what? There’s an app for that! In fact, there are hundreds of apps out there that can help make our lives easier in thousands of ways. We decided to share six of them with you to he…

Father and Son

American Health Care Act

March 24, 2017

Impact of Medicaid Program Cuts on Military and Veteran Families Our Association has concerns about Medicaid program cuts included in the American Health Care Act and the potential negative impact they may have on military and veteran families who access Medicaid after transitioning from military service or for their special needs family members. Transition from Military Service Nearly 8 in 10 veterans leave military service without a civilian job waiting for them¹. Upon separation from active duty, most veterans and their families imme…

Proposed budget cuts

Proposed Budget Cuts Could Hurt Military Families Bigly

March 22, 2017

When the Administration’s budget proposal was released on March 15, the big news in the military community was the size of the Defense budget. As expected, the President is calling for large increases in military spending—an additional $54 billion. These funds would be used to increase the size of the Army and Marine Corps and buy additional warships and fighter planes. Good news, right? Well yes…and no. As military family advocates (and military family members ourselves), we understand how important it is that service memb…

hands in a circle

One Team One Fight: The Rising Trend of the All-Hands Spouse Clubs

March 9, 2017

Did you know that the history of military spouse clubs can be traced all the way back to the revolutionary war? In fact, Martha Washington herself has been largely viewed as the driving force behind what we now know as Officers' Spouse Clubs and Family Service programs. The social gatherings Martha spear-headed gave the war-weary wives a chance to connect with others in the same boat, and helped with the war effort as well. Much like today’s military spouses, they catered their skills toward helping the troops and caring for the ill and …

An Evening With NMFA

March 8, 2017

In an evening filled with camaraderie and esprit de corps, the National Military Family Association hosted a reception on March 7 to celebrate military families. Since 1984, NMFA has recognized individuals and organizations who have dedicated their public service to military members, veterans, and their families with the Support of Military Families Award. Last night, we honored three women who went above and beyond the call of duty to support military families this year. NMFA Board of Governors Vice Chair, Mary Lynn Stevens opened the eve…

Blended Retirement

Blended Retirement System: Should you switch?

March 3, 2017

You may have heard talk of a change to the military’s retirement system that’s left you wondering what in the world it means for your military family? Luckily, you have all of 2017 to make the right retirement choice for your future, because you don’t have to decide whether to stay under the current retirement system or switch to the new system until December 31st, 2018. But if you’re ready to decide, you can switch as early as January 1st, 2018. For service members who entered active service before January 1, 2006, or …

2017 Military Saves Week

How Your Credit Cards Can Pay You Back

February 27, 2017

It’s Military Saves Week and boy do we have some great tips for you! You would probably think we’re crazy if we told you that your creditors will lower your interest rates, waive annual fees or even reimburse you hundreds or possibly thousands of dollars if you asked them to. In fact, you’re probably raising an eyebrow right now, thinking that we’re full of it. We can explain. Thanks to the Service Member Civil Relief Act (SCRA), military families are protected from certain legal and financial burdens that might happen…

Service of Military Family Awardees 2017

NMFA Honors Advocates

February 24, 2017

Do you ever wonder how military family programs and policies get started? Who makes them better over time? And who’s working behind the scenes to make military life better for our nation’s finest and their families? Since 1984, NMFA has celebrated those who have supported military families through their work or leadership, and recognize them with our Support of Military Families Award. These stewards of good work do not seek recognition, and strive valiantly to further the mission of NMFA. We would like to introduce you to this ye…

NMFA Goes to Bat for Military Families on the Hill

February 16, 2017

On February 14th, NMFA’s Executive Director, Joyce Raezer, testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee in a hearing about the Department of Defense (DoD) Single Service Member and Military Family Readiness programs. We’ve heard from military families, like yours, about military health care experiences, the troubles finding reliable and affordable child care, and the ongoing issue of spouse employment. We took those concerns straight to Capitol Hill and spoke on behalf of military families around the globe. Recently, 9,000…

Hiring Freeze

How long will military families feel the chill of the hiring freeze?

February 7, 2017

Military personnel may be exempt from the recent federal hiring freeze issued last month, but that doesn’t mean they're exempt from the overall impact. In fact, recent confusion has service members and their families concerned about an already hot button issue--childcare. Unfortunately, the DoD’s clarification of exemptions to the freeze left more questions than answers, as we recently saw first-hand when two Army installation commanders blamed the hiring freeze on their inability to hire child care workers. Some positions will be…

Kids and a teacher

“Good” Schools Need More Than Just Great Teachers

February 6, 2017

We can all agree that our military-connected children—all children really—need and deserve to attend good schools and receive the best possible education. But one question that isn’t often asked is what exactly is it that makes a school “good”? A recent report by the Lexington Institute analyzed standardized test results in four states that serve a large number of military-connected children. The study suggested that those scores should be used to help measure the quality of education that each school provides. Bu…

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