News | Dec. 9, 2021

Act Now: TRICARE Open Season Ends Dec. 13

By TRICARE Communications

Did you know TRICARE Open Season ends on Monday, Dec. 13? This is your last opportunity, if you so choose, to enroll in or change your health plan. Any changes you make to your coverage during open season will take effect Jan. 1, 2022.
 
“There are only a few days left of TRICARE Open Season, so we encourage you to review your options, ask any questions, and make your selection as soon as possible before the deadline,” said Shane Pham, program analyst with TRICARE Health Plan’s Policy and Programs Section at the Defense Health Agency. “With TRICARE Prime, US Family Health Plan, and TRICARE Select, open season is the only time each year when you can enroll in or change plans, unless you experience a Qualifying Life Event.”
 
A Qualifying Life Event is defined in the TRICARE Qualifying Life Events Fact Sheet as “…a certain change in your life, such as moving, marriage, birth of a child, or retirement from active duty.” Barring one of these major life events, you’ll lose the chance to make any changes to your health plan for 2022 when open season closes on Dec. 13.
 
Here are some specifics of what your options are and what you can accomplish during TRICARE Open Season.
 
  • Who is eligible? Open season applies to beneficiaries who are eligible for TRICARE Prime, including the US Family Health Plan (USFHP), or TRICARE Select. It also applies to beneficiaries UNDER age 65 who are entitled to Medicare Part A and Part B, and covered by TRICARE For Life (TFL).
  • Who isn’t eligible? Open season doesn’t apply to active duty service members. It also doesn’t apply to beneficiaries age 65 or older, entitled to Medicare Part A and Part B, and covered by TRICARE For Life. Remember, TFL coverage is automatic if you have both Medicare Parts A and B. Finally, open season doesn’t apply to the four premium-based health plans: TRICARE Reserve SelectTRICARE Retired ReserveTRICARE Young Adult, and Continued Health Care Benefit Program. Enrollment changes for these health plans aren’t limited to open season, they can be requested at any time of the year.
  • What are my options? If you’re eligible for open season, you can choose to stay in your current plan, enroll in a plan, or change plans. If you decide to continue in your current health plan next year, you don’t have to take any action. Are you considering changing your health plan? Use the TRICARE Plan Finder to see what plans you may be eligible for. Compare TRICARE Prime, USFHP, and TRICARE Select using the TRICARE Compare Plans Tool. Look up costs for each plan with the TRICARE Compare Costs Tool.
  • How do I enroll or change plans? The easiest way is online, by logging in to milConnect and clicking on the “Manage health benefits” button. You can also call your TRICARE regional contractor or USFHP Designated Provider. Visit the Enroll or Purchase a Plan section of the TRICARE website for all of your options and instructions.
  • What about dental and vision coverage? TRICARE Open Season only applies to TRICARE Prime plans and TRICARE Select. However, the Federal Benefits Open Season, which applies to dental and vision coverage through the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP), also ends Dec. 13. If you’re already enrolled in FEDVIP and don’t wish to make a change to your plan, you don’t need to take any action to continue your coverage next year. If you’re eligible for FEDVIP but not enrolled, you have a few days left to purchase a plan. Go to the BENEFEDS website to learn more. 
 
Before you make any changes to your health care plan, make sure your information in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System, or DEERS, is up to date. Take these last few days of open season to review your plan and find the best coverage option for you in 2022.
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