Housing, relocation, access to health care are top concerns for military families in survey
New survey results underline several issues that were brought to the forefront last year for troops and families: some dissatisfaction with housing, stressful relocations, and problems with access to health care. More than 10,000 family members, service members and veterans responded to the 2018 annual Blue Star Families’ Military Family Lifestyle Survey. Among the results:
- One of the top three recommendations troops and families made for improving quality of life was to offer better housing and increase the Basic Allowance for Housing. Two-thirds of the families who responded to the survey said they lived in on-base housing during their military service, and one-third of those said they were dissatisfied with their on-base housing experience. Families expressed frustration with privatized housing management and aging properties, and environmental health hazards. For those living off base, the issues were inadequate housing allowances and housing shortages.
- For the first time in the 10 years the survey has been conducted, relocation was the top stressor for service members. And nearly a third of the military family member respondents reported spending more than $1,000 in unreimbursed expenses for their last move. Military families complained last year about problems with late deliveries and damaged household goods.
- The vast majority of military families were satisfied with the cost, quality of providers, and quality of health care, but they were least satisfied — at 65 percent — with the ease of access and timeliness of care. There have been problems with lack of access to health care as Tricare made a number of changes last year, including changes in contractors.
This year’s top issues reported in the survey for active-duty military spouses were: the amount of time service members are away from family; military spouse employment; military child education; impact of deployment on children and military pay and benefits.