On the occasion of Veterans Day, Tricare’s open enrollment season also began, which already had 9.5 million service members, veterans, and their families.
Until Dec. 9, current Tricare beneficiaries will be able to change or renew their health care plans for next year, while others who were not registered in Tricare can sign up. When it’s not open season, people can turn to Tricare only if they have a “qualifying life event,” or QLE, such as military move or the birth of a child.
No action is needed for Tricare beneficiaries who don’t want to change their plan; their coverage will continue throughout 2020 or until they are unsuitable.
Also, an open season is the window to get coverage for those who failed to register during previous eligibility. For instance, a parent who forgot to register a newborn for coverage must wait until open registration to treat the problem. Those who are eligible but not registered can only get health care at a clinic or military hospital on a space-available basis. That care does not qualify as “minimal essential coverage” under the Affordable Care Act.
For active-duty families, open season is the only time outside of a QLE to change from Tricare Prime to Tricare Select or vice versa. Tricare Prime comes with no out-of-pocket costs, lets users to be seen on base, and requires referrals for specialty care. Tricare Select needs copays but will let users to self-refer and be seen in the community outside of the Military Treatment Facility system.
Furthermore, open season is the only time military retirees and their families can turn from Tricare Prime Retiree to Tricare Select Retiree outside of a QLE. While coverages are alike to the plans offered to active-duty families, the out-of-pocket costs are different.
Beneficiaries can view all of their options on Tricare’s website by using a plan finder and a feature to compare two or more of the available programs side-by-side.
Though separate, it is also open enrollment for the Office of Personnel Management’s Federal Employee Dental and Vision Insurance Program.