Summer is the season when you and your family may fulfill new orders and move to a new duty station across the world. Or, if retiring, you may be considering relocating stateside or overseas. Either way, you’re not alone. In fact, about one in 10 Americans moved during 2016, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Although your TRICARE eligibility doesn’t change when you move, your health plan options might. That’s why understanding your TRICARE coverage after a move is important.
Moving stateside or within the U.S.
Moving stateside or to a different stateside region of the country determines which regional contractor you fall under. There are three TRICARE regions: north, south and west. When you arrive at your new duty station or location, update your address, phone number and other personal information in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS).
The process for transferring your enrollment depends on your plan. For example, if you have TRICARE Prime, you must transfer your coverage within 30 days of arriving at your new location. If you have TRICARE Standard or TRICARE Extra, your coverage won’t change, but you may have a new regional contractor and claims filing address. If you’re retired, your options will differ depending on whether you move within a region, to a new region, or to a Prime Service Area.
If you’re an overseas active duty service member or command-sponsored active duty family member moving to a new location, you can transfer your TRICARE Prime enrollment to your new overseas region. You can do this by calling International SOS or your TOP Regional Call Center at the phone number for your region. If you’re a TRICARE Prime Overseas or TRICARE Prime Remote Overseas beneficiary, you must transfer your coverage within 60 days of arriving at your new location.
If you’re retired, your only option overseas is TRICARE Standard Overseas. You can get care from any overseas provider. If you have questions, call International SOS or visit a TRICARE Service Center. To find a provider, search the overseas provider directory.
Moving if you have an existing medical issue
If you have an existing medical issue, then contact your current primary care manager or regional contractor before your move. They’ll be able to provide any referral or prior authorization information you’ll need to continue care in your new location. If your family uses Extended Health Care Option (ECHO), let your previous regional contractor know about your move. The regional contractor will coordinate the transfer of ECHO care to your new provider.