An Overview of Military Insurance:
- TRICARE plans depend primarily on the sponsor’s military status, and secondarily on the additional beneficiary’s relation to the sponsor.
- Active duty military are automatically in TRICARE Prime, unless stationed overseas, in which case their coverage will depend on how “remote” their duty station is. TRICARE Prime can also cover the dependents of active duty service members.
- TRICARE Select is similar to TRICARE Prime, but provides greater choice of providers for dependents.
- TRICARE Reserve Select is an optional program for members of the Reserve or National Guard and their dependents. It is similar to TRICARE Select in its flexibility of provider choice and co-pay structure.
- Finally, VA Health and TRICARE for Life are legacy programs intended to provide coverage to former service members depending on income, Medicare eligibility and coverage status, and VA Disability Group.
- VA Health is for individuals who served in the active military, naval, or air services and didn’t receive a dishonorable discharge. If you enlisted after 9/7/80, or entered active duty after 10/16/81, you must have served 24 continuous months or the full period for which you were called to active duty, unless, you:
- Were discharged for a disability that was caused – or made worse – by your active duty service, or
- Were discharged for a hardship or “early out,” or
- Served prior to 9/7/80
- For details on who is eligible and to apply, visit VA.gov.
- TRICARE for Life is Medicare-wraparound coverage (sometimes called Medigap coverage, filling the gaps in Medicare Part A and/or Part B coverage) for TRICARE beneficiaries who have Medicare Part A and B. This program is applied regardless of your age or where you live. It provides comprehensive health care coverage. With TRICARE for Life, you get prescription coverage under TRICARE’s Pharmacy Program.
Visit tricare.mil/Plans/Eligibility to determine the programs for which you are eligible.
It is important to note that what someone might pay for out-of-pocket costs for these plans, may depend on a variety of factors, including priority groups and rank in the military, such as E1 through E5, which refer to the first five ranks of the enlisted pay structure for the respective military branch.
Breakdown of the various military ranks
Information about Priority Groups
The information below is for the 2021 coverage year, and is subject to change.