People usually do not understand the difference between being qualified for and getting registered with TRICARE. You must first register with the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) in order to receive medical coverage and other benefits.
DEERS is a digital database for military servicemembers, their families, and others beneficiaries and dependents, which allows them to utilize TRICARE and other benefits such as entrance to commissaries, and other uniformed services benefits, etc.
Whether a person is in the service currently or is a retired military servicemember, your registration in DEERS is automatic. However, you need to enroll your family members in DEERS and make sure all the data is correctly registered in the database and up to date.
United States National Guard members and Reserve military servicemembers who are on active duty are automatically registered with TRICARE. Whenever your address or the registration status of any family member or any other relevant data changes, it is your responsibility to update the changes in the DEERS database. If the DEERS database is not properly updated, you will face problem in getting your TRICARE benefits in a timely manner so it is imperative that if any life changes such as an address change, re-enlistment, divorce, birth of a child, or any other life changing event occurs, it will appear in your digital information files.
|A quick look at the TRICARE co-payments and cost shares for active duty servicemembers’ families per various programs|
|TRICARE Prime||TRICARE Extra||TRICARE Standard|
|Yearly deduction||0||For E-4 and less: $50 military member, $100 family; For E-5 and higher: $150/$300||For E-4 and less: $50 military member, $100 family; For E-5 and higher: $150/$300|
|Yearly registration charge||0||0||0|
|Civil outdoor patient visit charge||$12||15% of agreed charge||20% of agreed charge|
|(mental health incorporated)|
|Admission charges||$11 per day or $25 minimum||$17.65 or $25 minimum||$17.65 or $25 minimum|
|Civil indoor patient mental health||$40 per day||$20 per day or $40 minimum||$20 per day or $40 minimum|
|Crisis room visit||$30||15% of agreed charge||20% of permittable charge|
You can confirm your DEERS data with regional TRICARE managed care representatives, at a local TRICARE service center, or your nearby Uniformed Services personnel office, or wherever you get your identity card.
Address modifications can be completed by any registered family member. However, only the main insured servicemember sponsor can add or remove a family member from the DEERS database. When doing these modifications, you will need supportive official documents like birth certificate, adoption certificate, death certificate, official documentation of a divorce, or a marriage certificate, depending on who and what is involved in the changes you are marking within the program. Once an individual is enrolled in DEERS, they can update their own personal information as beneficiaries or family members.
In the case that the family members of an in-service or retired military servicemember are not accompanying him or her to the local office for DEERS registration and has an dependent identity card, the sponsor must submit the required documents. This includes a fully filled-in and signed Application for Uniformed Services Identification Cards and DEERS Enrollment, commonly known as DD Form 1172-2.
Status altering events in life, such as marriage, divorce, death, birth or adoption of a child, etc., are also to be reported and entered into the DEERS database. This helps the Department of Defense determine the eligibility of your benefits and your family’s benefits. In case you are activated on duty and you marry or move to a new address, you should update your data on DEERS as early as possible. Otherwise, you or your family member’s medical benefits may be interrupted.
Immediately after you re-enroll yourself, take all relevant documents to the personnel support center or identity card authority in order to update your data before your last service duty expires. After retirement, make sure your status in DEERS your is updated accordingly.
Here are some aspects of DEERS to remember:
- Pharmacies always refer to DEERS while checking on TRICARE eligibility. Your prescriptions will be processed only if you and family members are enrolled in the DEERS database.
- If you have a child and your child is 21 years old and above and attending school full-time, you must enter his or her student status in the system in order for them to be available for TRICARE benefits. Otherwise, the eligibility may end and TRICARE health benefits will stop. After age 21, your child is not eligible anymore for TRICARE coverage if they are not a full-time student. These benefits then can be extended to the age of 23 years old for the sponsor’s child.
- In case you or any of your family members is eligible for Medicare coverage, DEERS status must be updated to show the status of enrollment in Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B programs to continue TRICARE benefits. After you reach age 65, the medical information of your military identity card may also be changed.
Ensure that you visit a TRICARE health benefit provider or obtain confirmed authorization before going to a health care provider or specialist in order to determine whether the provider is considered to be a network provider or an out-of-network provider. Determining on your personal situation, you will need to pay a deductible of $300 for each person ($600 for each family member) and a cost sharing of 50 percent of the TRICARE maximum permitted fee, once you pay the deductible.
TRICARE needs to approve certain health care services, before you can utilize them in order to be sure that your visit and care is covered by TRICARE. Otherwise, you may be responsible for any charges. The health care provider should ask for approval before providing any health service.
So, now you know how to enroll yourself or your family members in TRICARE. You can also compare the pros and cons of each TRICARE plan including the Extra, Standard, and Prime options, depending upon their service, costs, etc.
Contact via phone, fax, online, or mail
To update your DEERS data, you can do so in person at your nearby Uniformed Service personnel office.
Defense Manpower Data Center Support Office
- via phone: 800-538-9552
- via fax: 831-655-8317
TRICARE website at http://www.tricare.mil/DEERS
Defense Manpower Data Center Support Office
Attn. COA 400
Gigling Road Seaside, CA 93955-6771