An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

News | Feb. 1, 2022

What You Need to Know About TRICARE Qualifying Life Events

By TRICARE Communications

The new year is upon us. Will 2022 be a year of big changes? If so, how will those changes affect you and your health care coverage? It isn’t uncommon for military families to experience lots of change. That’s why TRICARE allows you to enroll in, or change your TRICARE coverage after certain events, known as Qualifying Life Events (QLEs).
 
“You may not need to wait for TRICARE Open Season to make changes to your health plan,” said Shane Pham, program analyst with TRICARE Health Plan’s Policy and Programs Section at the Defense Health Agency. “Qualifying Life Events provide a unique opportunity for many TRICARE families to make enrollment changes to suit their new needs at a time other than the annual open season.”
 
What counts as a QLE?
A Qualifying Life Event is a certain change in your life that makes you eligible to enroll or change your TRICARE health plan outside of open season. As outlined in the TRICARE Qualifying Life Events Fact Sheet, TRICARE QLEs include military, family, and government-directed changes. Rules and restrictions apply to each QLE. Some common examples are:
           
How do QLEs work?
A QLE opens a 90-day period for you and your family to make enrollment changes. This means you have 90 days from the date of the QLE to enroll in a TRICARE health plan or change your existing plan. If you change your enrollment, your new coverage will start on the date of the QLE and run for as long as you remain eligible or disenroll. If you have a family, a QLE for one family member creates a chance for everyone who’s eligible to make enrollment changes during the 90-day QLE period. Your health plan options after a QLE will depend on that event.
 
What actions do you take after a QLE?
After a QLE, you must take action to ensure you don’t experience a break in your TRICARE coverage. Following these steps will help:
 
1. Update the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS). Anytime you or a family member experiences a QLE, you should update your DEERS record. Keeping your information updated is essential for obtaining and maintaining TRICARE coverage. Depending on your QLE, you may need to enter a new address, add a spouse or child, or indicate other health insurance. Some of these actions may require you to go to an ID card office and provide official documents, like a birth or marriage certificate.
 
2. Once your DEERS is updated, choose from three options based on your eligibility:
  • Stay in the same TRICARE health plan. If you want to stay in the same TRICARE health plan, you don’t need to take further action after updating DEERS. Your coverage will continue as long as you remain eligible.
  • Change TRICARE health plans. If you want to make a change to your TRICARE health plan or have to change your TRICARE health plan, make any eligible changes within 90 days of the date of the QLE. To explore health plan options, use the TRICARE Plan Finder.
  • Enroll in a TRICARE health plan. If you’re eligible for TRICARE, but not enrolled in a TRICARE health plan within 90 days of the QLE, you’ll only be able to get medical care and pharmacy services at a military hospital or clinic if space is available. Learn about how to enroll in a TRICARE health plan. Once you enroll, your TRICARE contractor can confirm your enrollment.
 
There’s more to learn about QLEs and how they may change your TRICARE health plan options. For more information on how to navigate QLEs, go to Qualifying Life Events.
A prescription bottle is filled

Change Healthcare Cyberattack Impact on MHS Phar...

News
Feb. 22, 2024

A reported cyberattack on the nation’s largest commercial prescription processor, Change Healthcare, has...
Read More
Close-up image of man's arms and hands, holding a piece of paper and eyeglasses.

Preventing TRICARE Fraud and Abuse Is Everyone’s...

News
Feb. 14, 2024

Fraud and abuse can target your TRICARE medical, pharmacy, and dental coverage. If you think someone is...
Read More
A delivery person hands a package to a woman

Learn About TRICARE Pharmacy Network Changes for...

News
Feb. 06, 2024

The TRICARE Pharmacy Program is improving how we manage specialty drugs. Starting March 1, Accredo will...
Read More
The 6th FSS identification card office was named the highest performing Department of the Air Force team for the 2023 fiscal year. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Zachary Foster)

Headed To the Doctor? Bring Proof of Your TRICAR...

News
Feb. 01, 2024

Are you preparing for a trip to the doctor’s office or the pharmacy? If so, make sure you have proof of your...
Read More
Airman, his wife, and twin infant daughters

Explore What TRICARE Covers

News
Jan. 25, 2024

TRICARE offers comprehensive coverage to help you get and stay healthy. Knowing what’s included in this...
Read More
A senior couple smiles on a sidewalk.

4 Reminders About Getting Care With TRICARE For ...

News
Jan. 23, 2024

Do you have TRICARE For Life? Knowing how Medicare coverage works can help you avoid unexpected costs. Learn...
Read More
The Brandon Act written over a backround of green circles with patches of stars and stripes and the link text: Health.mil/BrandonAct.

For Service Members, Access to Mental Health Car...

News
Jan. 22, 2024

The Brandon Act has greatly simplified and sped up the process of helping service members get mental health...
Read More
Air Force emergency medical technician stands in front of the back of an ambulance

How TRICARE Covers Ambulance Services

News
Jan. 17, 2024

In some emergencies, an ambulance could be the difference between life and death. Fortunately, your TRICARE...
Read More

Feb. 22, 2024

Change Healthcare Cyberattack Impact on MHS Pharmacy Operations

A reported cyberattack on the nation’s largest commercial prescription processor, Change Healthcare, has affected military clinics and hospitals nationwide. On Feb. 21, Change Healthcare disconnected their systems to protect patient information. This is impacting all military pharmacies worldwide and some retail pharmacies nationally.

Feb. 14, 2024

Preventing TRICARE Fraud and Abuse Is Everyone’s Responsibility

Fraud and abuse can target your TRICARE medical, pharmacy, and dental coverage. If you think someone is committing fraud or abuse related to your TRICARE benefits, you should report it.

Feb. 6, 2024

Learn About TRICARE Pharmacy Network Changes for Specialty Drugs

The TRICARE Pharmacy Program is improving how we manage specialty drugs. Starting March 1, Accredo will provide specialty drugs and enhanced clinical services if you fill TRICARE-defined specialty prescriptions with TRICARE Home Delivery. Accredo will also stay in the TRICARE network as an in-network retail pharmacy.  

Feb. 1, 2024

Headed To the Doctor? Bring Proof of Your TRICARE Coverage

Are you preparing for a trip to the doctor’s office or the pharmacy? If so, make sure you have proof of your TRICARE coverage.

Jan. 25, 2024

Explore What TRICARE Covers

TRICARE offers comprehensive coverage to help you get and stay healthy. Knowing what’s included in this coverage can help you make the most of your benefit and avoid unexpected costs.

Jan. 23, 2024

4 Reminders About Getting Care With TRICARE For Life

Do you have TRICARE For Life? Knowing how Medicare coverage works can help you avoid unexpected costs. Learn about getting care with Medicare and TRICARE For Life.

Jan. 22, 2024

For Service Members, Access to Mental Health Care Streamlined Under Brandon Act

The Brandon Act has greatly simplified and sped up the process of helping service members get mental health treatment if they need it.

Jan. 17, 2024

How TRICARE Covers Ambulance Services

In some emergencies, an ambulance could be the difference between life and death. Fortunately, your TRICARE plan covers ambulance services in these situations.

Jan. 11, 2024

Mental Health Is Health: Depression and Oral Health

Depression can cause you to neglect your oral health if you aren’t able to motivate yourself to do daily tasks like brushing your teeth and flossing. See how TRICARE can help your mental and oral health.

Jan. 9, 2024

What To Know Before Getting Care With Your TRICARE Plan

Did you or a family member recently enroll in a TRICARE health plan or change plans? Now is a good time to review how to get care with your plan.