One of the best benefits for the United States Military Servicemembers is the medical benefit that are provided through TriCare. In the old days, CHAMPUS was the provider for military Servicemembers, but that changed about 20 years ago, and TRICARE became the primary Servicemembers medical health care program provided for Service Members and their dependents, by the Department of Defense. The Services that are provided include TriCare Dental Services, TriCare Pharmacy services, as well as Standard, Extra, and Prime versions of TriCare medical services.
TriCare is a managed health care program for Active duty, Reservists, and Activated Guard, retired and other groups of men and woman. It can seem very complicated but it is not as involved as it seems to be sometimes. Understanding the differences and the elements of their coverage then understanding the whole program is not nearly as difficult as you may think. The plan that all Active Servicemembers are involved in is referred to as Tricare Prime. It is a program that is available to anyone serving in U.S. Forces at home or overseas, and offers direct access to Service Health Care facilities. There are different healthcare choices of coverage, and three different areas are available. There are three different versions of the TriCare program.
Tricare Extra- It is a preferred choice provider that tries to save money. It allows some services for personnel, but does not provide main medical services provided by the other options. Tricare Standard- This is a service for fee type of option, and it is the most similar program to what the old CHAMPUS type military Servicemember programs were. It gives a small amount of dependent support and care, but care for other groups other than active duty uniform and their dependents is handled by Tricare Extra. Those Veteran retirees that want to have military medical coverage normally are also covered by TriCare Extra. TriCare Extra has a larger co payment than TriCare Prime.
TriCare Prime- This is the main coverage, the facilities and sites of health care treatment are military such as military bases, and it is the coverage that covers Active Duty, activated members of the Ready Reserves and dependants. TriCare for Life is an additional coverage for Servicemembers disabled due to service related incidents.