Send TRICARE to College with Your Child
Posted on September 24, 2018

Is your student hitting the books at college this fall? TRICARE travels with them. TRICARE coverage of eligible dependents extends to college students.

Children are eligible for TRICARE benefits until age 21. But coverage extends up to age 23 for unmarried children of TRICARE-eligible sponsors, if both:

  • The child is a college student enrolled in a full-time course of study at an approved institution of higher learning
  • The sponsor provides over 50 percent of the child’s financial support

If your student is heading to college, update the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) to reflect this status. This will verify and ensure their eligibility for TRICARE.

To extend benefits past your student’s 21st birthday, you’ll need a letter from the school registrar’s office. The letter must state your child is enrolled full-time in an accredited college in pursuit of an associate’s degree or higher. Bring the letter to an ID card-issuing facility. To avoid automatic disenrollment when your child turns 21, you should update DEERS information before his or her 21st birthday. Check with your regional contractor after doing so to make sure there’s no break in coverage.

Health Plan Options

TRICARE health plan options and payment requirements depend on the location of the college your student attends, your sponsor status, and your family’s individual preferences. Use the TRICARE compare plans tool for a side-by-side look at plan features and costs.

Like other beneficiaries eligible to enroll in TRICARE Prime or TRICARE Select, college students may only enroll in or change their TRICARE coverage during the annual TRICARE Open Season unless they experience a Qualifying Life Event (QLE). This year, TRICARE Open Season is from Nov. 12 through Dec. 10, 2018. Coverage will start on Jan. 1, 2019. The most common QLE for college students is a change in their residential address (from home to college or vice versa). To qualify, update DEERS with the new address.

Studying in the U.S.

TRICARE Prime and US Family Health Plan (USFHP) enrollees attending college stateside in the same region as their sponsor may keep their TRICARE Prime or USFHP at their sponsor’s address or transfer their enrollment to their school address. These plans must be available in the new location. And you must meet all enrollment criteria.

TRICARE Prime and USFHP enrollees going to college stateside in a different region from their sponsor’s residence may generally keep their TRICARE Prime enrollment in their sponsor’s region. They may also choose split enrollment and transfer their enrollment if TRICARE Prime is available in their new region. Some restrictions may apply. Check with your regional contractor for specifics.

TRICARE Prime Remote (TPR) enrollees must live at their sponsor’s qualifying residence to stay eligible for TPR. If moving away from home, TPR enrollees may enroll in TRICARE Prime or TRICARE Select.

Coverage will remain the same for those enrolled in TRICARE Select, TRICARE Reserve Select, and TRICARE Retired Reserve.

Studying Overseas

If your student attends college overseas on their own, they’re eligible to enroll in TRICARE Overseas Program (TOP) Select. Students who attend college overseas who are command-sponsored and live with their sponsor overseas remain eligible for TOP Prime or TOP Prime Remote. TOP Prime and TOP Prime Remote aren’t available to students living or traveling overseas whose sponsors live in the U.S.

Other Health InsuranceHealth insurance you have in addition to TRICARE, such as Medicare or an employer-sponsored health insurance. TRICARE supplements don’t qualify as "other health insurance."

Some colleges and universities offer a student health plan. Student health plans are other health insurance(OHI). TRICARE pays second to OHI. If you plan to use a student health plan, tell your health care and pharmacy contractors. And update DEERS to show you have OHI.

Coverage After TRICARE Eligibility Ends

Students who no longer qualify for regular TRICARE coverage may qualify to purchase TRICARE Young Adultor Continued Health Care Benefit Program coverage.

For more information on TRICARE options for college students or young adults, visit Going to College. You should also contact your regional contractor if you have questions about health plan options for your child. 

Stay Covered After Age 21 With TRICARE Young Adult
Posted on September 21, 2018

Have you recently graduated from college, but you haven’t found your dream job yet? Or did you just turn 21, and you’re not enrolled in college? If you’re worried about your health care coverage as a military dependent, TRICARE Young Adult (TYA) may give you the coverage you need. TYA eligibility begins when regular TRICARE coverage ends at age 21, or up to age 23 if enrolled in college.

Is TRICARE Young Adult Right for You?

Feds Feed Families: Stateside Commissaries Serve As Collection Points
Posted on September 18, 2018

Commissaries are again serving as common collection points for 2018’s Feds Feed Families campaign, which began Aug. 10 this year, and continues through Oct. 15 at participating stateside military installations.

During this campaign, participating installations help collect items most needed by food pantries and then donate them to area food banks. 2018 marks the ninth consecutive year commissaries have participated.

The MILITARY STAR Card Earns Retirees, Military Community $27.5 Million in 2017
Posted on September 17, 2018

Retired Soldiers and family members who shop with their MILITARY STAR® card don’t just save money, they earn it—all while supporting the entire military community.

September Is Healthy Aging Month
Posted on September 17, 2018

Did you know that gum disease – and not the aging process – is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults? Good oral health habits and a healthy lifestyle can help you keep your gums healthy and your smile bright for a lifetime. Developing a simple daily routine of brushing, flossing and eating a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables is important regardless of age. Here are some tips to help keep your mouth healthy and strong:

Brush at least twice a day

TRICARE Access During An Evacuation or Natural Disaster
Posted on September 14, 2018

With wildfire and hurricane season underway, have a disaster preparedness plan for you and your family. Access to your TRICARE benefit, prescriptions, and medical resources may change during a disaster. Be informed and learn the best way to keep you and your family safe.

Prepare for an emergency

Follow these easy steps to make sure your family can access your TRICARE benefit during an emergency.

Hurricane Florence Tricare refill prescriptions
Posted on September 13, 2018

As Hurricane Florence approaches,  important prescription-refill information is posted on the TRICARE website for affected states: Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and the District of Columbia.

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Army Echoes informs Retired Soldiers, surviving spouses, and their Families on changes to their benefits and entitlements, developments within the Army, and how they can continue to support the Army.