Enrollment and Eligibility
The effective date for your enrollment depends on your TRICARE plan option. Learn more on your plan's enrollment page.
It's important to register your newborn or adopted child in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) and enroll him/her into a TRICARE plan within 90 days of the qualifying life event (QLE).
Visit your plan's enrollment page to learn how to add a newborn or adopted child.
Learn more on our changing your PCM page.
Dependent children are eligible for TRICARE up to the age of 21 or up to the age of 23 if the child is a college student enrolled full-time at an accredited institution of higher education and the sponsor provides more than 50 percent of the child's financial support.
To ensure continuous TRICARE coverage, your child's information must be updated in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) prior to the loss of eligibility. Visit a RAPIDS site for assistance regarding the documentation needed.
The TRICARE Young Adult program may also be an option for your college student. Visit our TRICARE Young Adult page to learn about plan options and how to enroll.
Learn more about how to enroll in TRICARE Prime on our enrolling with TRICARE Prime page.
Your new address may come with different TRICARE options. Be sure to update your address with the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) through the milConnect website or Beneficiary Web Enrollment and the U.S. Postal Service.
Learn more on our moving with TRICARE page.
You must be registered in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) to be eligible for TRICARE. If you have a change in status or a change in your orders, make sure you update DEERS through your local RAPIDS site. Once updated, follow up with TRICARE about the potential changes to your coverage.
Log in to the milConnect website to update your address in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS).
When you retire from active duty, you will have new TRICARE coverage options.
Learn more about enrolling as a retiree on our TRICARE Prime Enrollment – Retirees and Their Family Members page or TRICARE Select page.
Note: TRICARE Prime Remote is not available for retirees and their family members.
Your primary care manager (PCM) assignment is based on your home address and the military hospital or clinic requirements for your area. Some military hospitals and clinics require PCM assignment for members who live within a 30-minute drive time. If your home address is within 30 minutes, and you are in an area with a military hospital or clinic that requires enrollment, your PCM assignment must be with that military hospital or clinic.
Drive time standards:
- Active duty service members: maximum 60-minute drive time from your home address to a military hospital or clinic
- All other beneficiaries: maximum 30-minute drive time from your home address to a military hospital or clinic
Sponsors must register new spouses in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System for them to be eligible for TRICARE. To register a spouse in DEERS, visit a RAPIDS site to do the following:
- Provide a copy of the marriage certificate.
- Show two forms of ID (for example, any combination of Social Security card, driver's license, birth certificate, current military ID card or Common Access Card [CAC]).
Once the new spouse is registered in DEERS, he or she will receive a military ID card and will be eligible for TRICARE.
In addition to registering your spouse in DEERS, some TRICARE programs require enrollment. Learn more your program's enrollment page.
View and print TRICARE Wallet Cards at the milConnect website. In addition to the Wallet Card, TRICARE beneficiaries should present their uniformed services identification (ID) card or Common Access Card (CAC) at the time of service. TRICARE For Life beneficiaries use their Medicare card along with their uniformed services ID card or CAC.
Note: The cards do not guarantee eligibility nor are they required to obtain care but do contain important information for beneficiaries.
Yes, it is OK for your doctor's office to copy your military ID card or Common Access Card (CAC). It is recommended that they copy both sides of the ID card or CAC to assist in eligibility verification and for the purpose of rendering care.
A valid ID card or CAC alone is not sufficient to prove eligibility; providers must verify eligibility.
Although Health Net Federal Services, LLC (HNFS) makes every effort to ensure you remain with your requested primary care manager (PCM), there are situations beyond our control that may result in an unsolicited change. Some of those reasons are:
- Access to care: If your residence is over 30 minutes from your PCM’s office, or you live in an area where TRICARE Prime is not offered, you must sign the drive time waiver (DTW) agreeing to travel in order to receive care. If a DTW is needed but not received, HNFS will notify you by letter. If no response is received, we are required to make necessary changes to your PCM assignment in order to ensure you meet program requirements.
- Military hospital and clinic recaptures: Individual military hospitals and clinics decide who is required to receive care at their locations. A military hospital or clinic may decide to have beneficiaries reassigned to a PCM on base at any given time. You are notified of any upcoming changes via mail, email or phone call, and may be given an opportunity to remain with your current provider, at the military hospital or clinic's discretion.
- Provider contract termination: If your PCM’s contract terminates or expires, HNFS is required to move you to an alternative PCM. These changes are made in accordance with the military hospital and clinic's guidelines; if you are within 30 minutes of a mandatory military hospital or clinic, your new PCM may be located on post.
The Transitional Care for Service-Related Conditions (TCSRC) program extends the period of TRICARE eligibility for service-related conditions up to 180 days from enrollment into the TCSRC program. Learn more on our TCSRC page.