When anyone decides to become part of the US Military one of the most important benefits that he/she enjoys is that of comprehensive health coverage. The Department of Defense’s (DoD), TRICARE health care program offers several health benefits to active members of the military and their families as well as to retired service members and their families. For retired servicemen TRICARE has different programs such as TRICARE Pharmacy, TRICARE Dental, and TRICARE for Life. The benefits of the TRICARE health program can be enjoyed by all the seven uniformed services: the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, Public Health Service, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and to access it one must be listed in DEERS.

The TRICARE health care program offers three different categories of health care options to choose from namely TRICARE Standard, TRICARE Extra and TRICARE Prime. Active Duty and Guard and Reserve service members are involuntarily registered for TRICARE Prime.

Survivor Benefits

In case a sponsor dies while on active duty eligible family members such as the spouse and children, below 21 years of age will continue to receive all benefits of TRICARE Prime for the next three years without paying any enrollment fees and copayments. For family members who were not enrolled in TRICARE Prime can use TRICARE Standard and Extra but will have to make proper allowances for the annual deductible costs for the programs. During the 3 year period spouses and eligible family members do not have to pay out-of-pocket expenses exceeding $1000 per fiscal year

If the surviving family members decide to reside outside of US then they should check with the overseas TRICARE Service Center as their benefits differ from the ones offered in United States.

After the 3 year period surviving family members may enroll in TRICARE Prime but will have to pay for the annual enrollment fess and copays as their status is then converted to retiree family. The family members may choose to enroll in TRICARE Standard and Extra program but then also they will have to pay the required deductible and cost-share requirements.

Why Enroll in TRICARE Health Program?

TRICARE is a massive health care system serving more than 9.2 million eligible families all over the world. It is an initiative of the DoD aimed at creating a network of civilian health care professionals providing quality health care services to military service men. TRICARE prime offers health care services through its huge network of medical care providers, military treatment facilities, medical clinics and dental clinics at just $520 a year as enrollment fees. A civilian on the other hand pays around $4000 annually for a family health insurance plan, there is no reason why should not enjoy the benefits of this system.