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News | Feb. 1, 2024

Headed To the Doctor? Bring Proof of Your TRICARE Coverage

By TRICARE Communications

Are you preparing for a trip to the doctor’s office or the pharmacy? If so, make sure you have your proof of TRICARE coverage.
 
For most people with TRICARE, you’ll need to show your Uniformed Services ID card to your provider as proof of TRICARE eligibility. If you’re an active duty service member, you’ll need to show your Common Access Card.
 
Each ID card has a unique 11-digit Department of Defense Benefits Number (DBN), which confirms TRICARE coverage. The DBN helps you and your provider file claims. When getting care, filling a prescription at a military or retail pharmacy, or signing up for TRICARE Pharmacy Home Delivery, your ID card is your proof of coverage. 
 
“Without the proper documents, you could be denied treatment and have to reschedule your appointment,” said Jim Frank, DEERS Integration Manager, TRICARE Health Plan Division. “Knowing what proof of coverage you need is an important step to getting the care you need. You’ll also avoid unexpected out-of-pocket costs.”
 
How do you find and maintain your TRICARE proof of coverage? Follow these tips to ensure you have everything you need before your next provider appointment.
 

Update DEERS

Using your ID card starts with making sure your Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) record is up to date. You must be registered in DEERS to use your TRICARE health program benefit. If you’re already in the system, be sure to update your or your family’s information in DEERS too.
 
To add or remove family members to DEERS, sponsors must go in person to a local RAPIDS ID Card Office. You can make an make an appointment online to do this. Remember to bring all required forms, documentation, and identification to your appointment. Learn more about getting your ID card. If you need to renew your ID card, you may be able to do so online. A Department of Defense pilot program, which was recently expanded, allows family members, retirees, and others to renew a Uniformed Services ID card online. At this time, the pilot is limited to cardholders in the United States.
 

Eligibility letters

Eligibility letters are another way for providers to verify your TRICARE coverage. Sponsors can access these letters for themselves and their eligible family members. You can bring this letter with you to your health care appointments. To download an eligibility letter, go to milConnect and click “Obtain proof of health coverage.”
 

TRICARE For Life

Do you have TRICARE For Life (TFL) coverage? You need to show both your Medicare card and your Uniformed Services ID card when getting care, as noted in the TRICARE For Life Handbook. It’s a good idea to check with your provider to see if they take Medicare. You should also check that Medicare and TFL cover the type of care you’ll receive. Otherwise, you may have out-of-pocket costs.
 

Premium-based plans

If you’re enrolled in TRICARE Reserve Select or TRICARE Retired Reserve, you can show your provider your enrollment card as proof of coverage. If you need a replacement card, log in to milConnect to print a copy.
 
You can enroll in TRICARE Young Adult without a Uniformed Services ID card. When your coverage begins, and you’re notified by your regional contractor, visit any ID card office to get a new ID card. You should show your ID card when you go to the doctor or pharmacy.
 
Having proof of TRICARE coverage is the first step to getting care. Remember to keep your information in DEERS up to date and your Uniformed Services ID card current so you and your family have access to health care services when you need them.
 
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