The military members who are on active duty are often very well aware of the benefits offered by the TRICARE health program and also of the retiree dental benefits offered under this program. Very few are aware of the fact that this program can be extended past their career in the military and can be applied even after individuals retire from military service. A variety of options are offered under this program, whether one is disabled or retired, such as the variety of medical insurance options and dental care programs. These programs aren’t free and are entitlements. To determine whether it is beneficial for you to participate in the TRICARE program, you must become familiar with the insurance options that are available to you.
What is TRICARE?
TRICARE is the health care program that is offered to United States military service members who are on active duty, their families, certain former spouses, survivors, and retirees worldwide. TRICARE is a major component of the Military Health System. It binds the resources pertaining to health care and performs the task of supplementing them with the access of pharmacies, civilian health care professionals, suppliers, and institutions in order to offer access to health care services while retaining the capability to offer support to the military operations.
One must be registered in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) to be eligible to take advantage of TRICARE benefits. To meet the requirements of the beneficiary population, TRICARE offers an extensive variety of health plan options.
This health care option is available to the retirees of the seven U.S. uniformed services, active duty members, their survivors, family members, and to others who are registered in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS).
A valid uniformed services identification card is needed in addition to enrollment in DEERS to be eligible for TRICARE services. TRICARE can be utilized all over the world. It is managed in four separate regions where one covers overseas residents and three are located in the United States.
The overseas region is further divided into three units which include:
- TRICARE Latin America and Canada
- TRICARE Pacific
- TRICARE Europe
The regions within the United States include:
- TRICARE West
- TRICARE North
- TRICARE South
Contact information for each of these TRICARE regional offices is available.