When you join the military, you receive military medical benefits from an organization or facility known as TriCare. It provides benefits for medical care for you, and your dependents. TRICARE is the name of the Servicemember Health organization for the United States Armed Forces, it is for Servicemembers, and their dependents, and is administered by the Department of Defense. Some of the different services that it administers are TriCare Dental Services, TriCare Medical Services, and other hospital and medical care services.
As with any bureaucracy, things can seem difficult or complicated when a person deals with Tricare, but it’s not as hard as it seems. As with any type of medical coverage or insurance, the key to being about to utilize TriCare is being able to understand its basic operations. As with many things in life, knowledge is power, and understanding the program and your coverage elements is not as hard as it may seem at first.
The plan that Active Servicemembers have is known as the TriCare Prime program. It is one of several choices in a managed health care program that serves active duty, retired, activated guard and reservists, and their dependents. It has a large net of health care professionals as well as US military health care professionals that are there to provide direct access to TriCare for Servicemembers and their dependents. Retired members and dependents of active and reservists have to choose which plan is best for them. There are three main areas of coverage in TriCare:
TriCare Prime- This is the plan many active duty personnel have, and it is where the principal treatment facilities are military facilities or military related. TriCare Prime is also a coverage choice available for activated reservists, and active duty dependents, and it provides coverage at health care facilities that are military related.
TriCare Extra- This is a Tricare Provider choice that is provider preferred, and it is designed to try and save money, it is an option that deals with preferred providers on a managed care plan.
Tri Care Standard- This is the TriCare option that closely resembles the old CHAMPUS system, it is a service fee option. Some types of dependent care, and care for different groups besides active duty personnel are often covered under TriCare Standard.
The co payments for TriCare Standard and TriCare Extra are generally more than featured in the TriCare Prime option. All three are valid choices that allow some flexibility to the Servicemember as they choose which type of medical coverage will be best for them and their dependents.