News | Nov. 8, 2021

TRICARE Open Season Starts Today, Explore Your Options

By TRICARE Communications

Autumn is upon us. That means it’s time to consider your health care options for 2022. TRICARE Open Season begins today, Monday, Nov. 8 and ends Monday, Dec. 13. If you’re enrolled in or eligible for a TRICARE Prime option or TRICARE Select, open season applies to you. This is your chance to enroll in a health plan or change health plans for coverage that starts Jan. 1, 2022. 
 
“It’s important to take open season seriously each year,” said Elan Green, chief of TRICARE Health Plan’s Member Benefits and Reimbursement Section. “This could be your only chance all year to impact health plan options for you and your family.”
 
Outside of TRICARE Open Season, you can only enroll in or change your TRICARE Prime or TRICARE Select plan following a Qualifying Life Event, as outlined in the TRICARE Qualifying Life Events Fact Sheet. This means if you’re currently not enrolled in a TRICARE health plan and choose not to enroll in one by Dec. 13, you’ll only be able to receive care at military hospitals and clinics if space is available.
 
Who is eligible for TRICARE Open Season?
If you’re enrolled in or eligible for TRICARE Prime, including the US Family Health Plan (USFHP), or TRICARE Select, open season applies to you.
 
But it doesn’t apply to active duty service members. Open Season also doesn’t apply to the four premium-based health plans: TRICARE Reserve Select, TRICARE Retired Reserve, TRICARE Young Adult, and Continued Health Care Benefit Program.
 
If you’re under age 65, entitled to Medicare Part A and Part B, and covered by TRICARE For Life (TFL), open season does apply to you. You have the option to enroll in TRICARE Prime if you live in a Prime Service Area. However, TRICARE Open Season doesn’t apply to you, if you’re age 65 or older, entitled to Medicare Part A and Part B, and covered by TFL. TFL coverage is automatic if you have Medicare Parts A and B.
 
Not sure what TRICARE plans you may be eligible for? Use the TRICARE Plan Finder.
 
What changes can be made during open season?
If you’re eligible for TRICARE Open Season, you have three choices: 
  • Stay in your plan: If you want to stay in your current TRICARE health plan, you don’t have to take any action. You’ll continue in your current health plan through 2022 or as long as you’re eligible.
  • Enroll in a plan: If you’re eligible for a TRICARE Prime option or TRICARE Select but not enrolled, you can enroll in a plan now.
  • Change plans: If you’re already enrolled in a TRICARE Prime option or TRICARE Select, you can switch health plans. You may also switch between individual and family enrollment.
 
Not sure how TRICARE Prime, USFHP, or TRICARE Select differ? You can compare health plans using the TRICARE Compare Plans Tool. You can also look up costs for each plan with the TRICARE Compare Costs Tool. Just choose the plan you’d like to see and answer a few questions about who you are. Cost changes are coming in 2022, so you should review your plan’s costs, even if you’re already enrolled. See 2022 health plan costs.
 
How do I enroll or change plans?
To enroll or change your health plan, use one of these options:  
Federal Benefits Open Season
Are you eligible for dental or vision coverage through the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP)? The Federal Benefits Open Season also starts Nov. 8. FEDVIP dental and vision plans are separate, and you may not qualify for both. To be eligible for FEDVIP vision coverage, you must be enrolled in a TRICARE health plan or eligible for TFL.
 
Those who may be eligible for FEDVIP vision coverage include:
  • Active duty family members
  • National Guard and Reserve members and their family members
  • Retired service members and their eligible family members
  • TRICARE For Life beneficiaries
 
Those who may be eligible for FEDVIP dental coverage include: 
  • Retired service members and their family members
  • Retired National Guard and Reserve members and their family members
  • TRICARE For Life beneficiaries
 
You can learn more about eligibility and your FEDVIP options at the BENEFEDS website. If you already have a FEDVIP plan and don’t want to make a change to your existing plan, you don’t need to take action during open season. Your coverage will continue in 2022. But check to make sure you understand any changes to your plan and costs for next year.
 
Before you make any changes to your health care plan this open season, be sure to check that your family’s information is up to date in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS). If you don’t show as eligible for TRICARE in DEERS or your information is incorrect or out-of-date, it could prevent you from using your TRICARE benefit.
 
Remember that you have only a few weeks until Dec. 13 and the end of open season. So, don’t wait. Review your current plan, consider your coverage options for 2022, and make sure you and your family choose the best health care plan to fit your needs.
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