When you join the military, one of the most valuable benefits you'll receive is access to TRICARE, the military's health care program. There are TRICARE plans for just about every military family and situation. But as with any health benefit plan, it's important to understand your options to take full advantage of the benefits available to you.
While Military OneSource does not provide health care services, it does offer non-medical counseling and information about health care services and benefits.
Each service branch determines who is eligible for TRICARE coverage. Generally, TRICARE is available to:
- Uniformed service members and their families
- National Guard/ Reserve members and their families
- Former spouses
- Medal of honor recipients and their families
- Others registered in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS)
There are also plans and temporary coverage options available to transitioning and separating service members.
The easiest way to find out if you're eligible is to check your information in DEERS or by calling DMDC Support Office at 1-800-538-9552. You should always make sure you and your family member's information stay up-to-date in DEERS. Enrollment in DEERS does not mean you are enrolled in TRICARE.
Types of TRICARE plans
With the TRICARE changes that took effect January 1, 2018, TRICARE continues to offer several different health plans. Plan availability still depends on who you are and where you live. Basic coverage is no longer automatic when you retire from the service.
The TRICARE website can help you select the plan that’s right for you. You can even compare plans side-by-side. All plans meet or exceed the requirements for minimum essential coverage.
TRICARE also offers special programs, including:
- Mental health care
- Benefits for beneficiaries with special needs
- A pharmacy program
- Dental coverage.
Some of these programs are separate from TRICARE’s medical coverage and are based on determining factors such as your status with the armed forces. See the TRICARE website for more information.
Military OneSource health and wellness coaches
Military OneSource health and wellness coaches can help you to lose weight, eat better, get in shape, manage stress, tackle transitions and more.
Call 800-342-9647 or view overseas calling options to sign up for health and wellness coaching sessions. You can choose from three Health and Wellness Coaching session options: phone, online chat and video.