When you join the military you are covered by comprehensive medical benefits, which are headquartered in the TriCare Medical Benefit program. The national health care active duty service program is called TriCare, and it is available to all Reserve, National Guard, and active duty Servicemembers, their dependents, their families, spouses and retirees. The Tricare program brings together both civilian health care professionals and the uniformed medical facilities and health care programs, into a unified program. It provides high quality services and access to Servicemembers to facilities, health care professionals, clinics, doctors, nurses, pharmacies and other health care services.
For a Servicemember to be eligible they have to be registered in the Defense Eligibility Enrollment system of reporting. There are several options that are available under TriCare for the needs of its military beneficiaries. There are also several special programs and two different Tri Care Dental plan programs also available. The TriCare mission is to serve military operations and provide care for the Servicemembers that are entrusted to its care. It serves about 9.2 million members in about 63 military hospitals worldwide, in addition to the various other federal facilities and civilian partnership facilities. There are an additional 413 medical clinics and over 400 dental clinics, which handle TriCare members worldwide.
The amount of TriCare benefits that are available depends on the Servicemembers military status. There are benefits available to National Guard and Reservists, especially if they are serving on active duty. There are different types of plans available for Servicemembers, including TriCare Standard, and TriCare Prime.
TriCare Prime is a managed care service, you must be enrolled to participate, and you have certain doctors and facilities that you can access for your health care. It is the simplest form of TriCare, and it is mostly for active duty Servicemembers, and for those reservists who are activated for over 30 days of consecutive service. TriCare Standard and TriCareExtra is fee – for-service TriCare Options. It does allow you in many ways more flexibility than the TriCare Prime, but it will also cost you more out of pocket for treatment and diagnosis than by using the TriCare Prime version. If you have the TriCare Prime plan you are assigned to a MTF military treatment provider facility or in some cases a civilian TriCare Provider. If you have a TriCare Standard or Extra plan, you can see any authorized TriCare Provider but you will have out of pocket costs that you don’t have with TriCare Prime.