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**This will be a lot of information on Tricare. Feel free to scroll through and find the links/info you are most interested in.
If you're an active military service member, retired from the military, in the reserves or national guard, or you are a family member to anyone in any of those situations, this forum is to help you with Tricare, the US government run health care program for military members and their families.
Tricare offers several programs depending on what your enrollment status in the military is, and what type of coverage you want. So I decided to put all this information here below, as Tricare can be a pretty confusing subject and it might be helpful to have all these resources in one spot.
All the links take you to pages that include eligibility requirements, how the program works, and how to enroll. All are official Military.com or Tricare.mil resources. Hope this helps.
First off, Tricare's official site has a quick questionnaire that should narrow down exactly what plan you need/qualify for, as well as walk you through everything you need to know for registration and eligibility and documentation, etc:
TRICARE Plan Finder
Breaking Tricare Options Down
So, the main 2 health insurance options for active service members and their families are:
The main difference here is 'Prime' plans are managed completely by the military health care system, meaning you can only use military doctors and military hospitals. It's all 'in network'.
The 'Select' plan allows you to see any doctor that accepts the program, so you can use both military and civilian doctors.
Choosing between the two depends heavily on where you live, as 'in network' military options for Prime plans might not be as widely available in certain parts of the country. Also, consider if you need to use a certain out of network doctor, or not.
If you are retired from the military, in the reserves or National Guard, overseas, or you are a family member to someone that is, use one of these resources:
TRICARE for Retirees
TRICARE for Reserve & Guard
TRICARE Young Adult Program
There are also Special Programs with Tricare, and even plans for former family members of military personnel, transitioning into normal civilian health care enrollment status.
Lastly of note, you are allowed to have other health insurance plans along with being enrolled in Tricare, whether it be Medicare, Medicaid, or any employer offered health insurance program.
Tricare has been very competitive in price and (usually) those that can take advantage of the program do so, over other options. Although 2018 has brought several changes to the program, making drug costs and deductibles go up, and making it more difficult to find doctors that accept Tricare.
As such, Tricare And Other Health Insurance details how it works if you have multiple kinds of insurance. It's worth looking into ALL your health care options and keep up to date with all the changes, as well as you can anyways.
Military.com - TriCare