One of the most attractive benefits in joining the military is the medical and dental benefits that are available. Benefits in the medical and dental realms are available in joining all Five branches of the Armed Forces of the United States: The Marine Corps, The Army, The Air Force, The Navy, and the Coast Guard. Medical Care in the Armed Forces is excellent. Over the years the different programs have evolved until the standard of health care in the Armed Forces is second to none.
The program that takes care of medical and dental benefits is called TriCare. It is the program that provides benefits to active duty, Reservists and Guard members, and retirees, and the dependents of all these groups. There are three programs basically involved in TriCare that a person can choose from:
Tricare Prime: This is the option that Active Duty personnel and Reservists and Guard members are automatically enrolled in. This takes care of all of your medical costs, including the cost of most prescriptions. The Main treatment facilities are Military medical care facilities, located at most major military installations and other places around the country. Tricare prime is a program that takes excellent care of its personnel, but it is a little more difficult to access sometimes because it mainly deals with military medical facilities, and does not use civilian facilities as much as the other two types.
Servicemembers on Active Duty and Reserve and Guard Servicemembers are automatically entered into the Tricare Prime system, but retirees, and the dependents of each class- Active, retired, Guard and Reserve, the dependents of each must choose which type of Tricare best suits their needs. The Tricare program is a health care management program that is regionally managed to provide the most of its services for Active Duty Guard and Reserve Servicemembers. TriCare brings the time, effort and resources of each of the Armed Forces Medical capability, the Navy, The Army, The Marine Corps, The Coast Guard, and the Air Force medical capabilities into one umbrella organization that serves all five branches.
TriCare Standard and Tricare Extra: These two other choices of TriCare service involve some pay-for-service type services, and are for dependents and retirees, and other Servicemembers who choose to have standard or extra as their level of care. Tricare Prime is available to these groups also, but there is a cost to the Servicemember that is higher than enrollment in Standard or Tricare Extra. There are cost sharing and co-payments with Tricare Prime, Tricare standard, and Tricare Extra with dependent care. It is a matter of selecting which plan is best and most cost effective for each individual and their dependents.