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Benefits - US v. Foreign

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Scottish_Knight

Question

Right then,

A few weeks back, I received a letter from Tricare about 'Open Season'.  I went online and read about various things, one of which was finally getting a dental insurance. Finally!  I enrolled, but have yet to choose a carrier as I need to read more on coverage.  Mainly, in-network versus outside-network.  Living in Europe and in the middle of nowhere, outside-network is most like my path.

It did get me to thinking.  Don't you lot in the US get free dental?  Seems I'm going to pay roughly 50 USD per month.  Not a massive amount, but still 600 USD per year.  That is merely the base costs to be covered.  There will be additional costs depending upon what is done to my teeth.  I also received a letter from Tricare this week about my health insurance for next year -> 14.33 USD per month.  Very inexpensive, but still.  I pay for near anything done short of surgeries and in that case I still pay a huge amount before Tricare or even the VA pick up anything.

Again, gears turning.  I recall all too well the 'free' benefits I was told about when I joined the military back in the 1980s that would continue after I retired. Well, things do change and the last time I looked there are approximately 18M retired US military personnel.  That's a huge cost to the American tax payer.  Huge indeed!

However, it seems that you lot in the US still get some freebies and additionals that those of us outside simply do not.

1.  Low interest home loans.  Understandably, I cannot get a home loan here.
2.  Small business loan.  Aye, anything involving banks just isn't going to happen outside the USA.
3.  COLA.  You get this in the US.  Those of us outside do not.  It would be too complicated to calculate inflation rates for each and every country.  A non-starter.  
4.  Health, dental, eye insurances.  What do you pay in the USA if anything?  Keep in mind there is no VA hospital here and the nearest US military medical clinic for me is a very long drive away.
5.  Commissary & PX / BX.  Unless things have changed, you can use these in the US, but we cannot.  Well, I could use the PX but it's a paperwork nightmare that makes it terribly inconvenient, having to deal with the German customs office to pay tax on each item, plus the travel expense.

Other benefits I am unaware of?

I am very content in getting my retirement and disability and am grateful for those. 

It was my choice to stay here.  I was born in Scotland, but American by choice.  I despise the term 'ex-pat'.... ex patriot...I am most definitely not!  I have children here and no family in the US.  Never did.  I served the country well and with distinction and am now treated like a third class citizen due to my residence.  Not complaining.  It is what it is.  But I do feel that the benefits offered to veterans who reside outside the US is a wee slap in the face.

So, again, what benefits do you receive in the US that I failed to list above?

 

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