TRICARE Benefits Explained

If you are a member of the military, understanding your TRICARE benefits is important. You want to understand exactly what this program can offer you and what it cannot. Here are the basics of TRICARE benefits and what you should expect from them.

TRICARE

TRICARE is a healthcare program that is available for active members of the military, activated guard members, reserves, retired military personnel, and their families. If you are affiliated with the military, this can be a very beneficial way to receive healthcare. It does not matter if you were in the Army, the Navy, or the Air Force, you will be able to gain access to this healthcare program. In addition to being able to get healthcare directly from military facilities, you will also be able to access civilian medical facilities as well. 

Three Options

With TRICARE, you will be able to choose between three different coverage options. You will be able to choose between TRICARE Prime, TRICARE Extra, and TRICARE Standard. All three of these programs have unique benefits that could potentially help you depending on your current situation. You will need to choose one of these options when getting TRICARE coverage.

TRICARE Prime

With TRICARE Prime, you are going to be able to receive treatment from Military Treatment Facilities also known as MTF's. These are military hospitals that provide care only to members of the military and retired military personnel. If you get this type of coverage as a current member of the military, you are not going to have any annual deductible to worry about. You will also have no enrollment fee that you will have to pay for this type of coverage. Even if you are retired military, there is no deductible to worry about and only a $460 enrollment fee per family. This type of coverage is beneficial if you live near a Military Treatment Facility.

TRICARE Extra

With TRICARE Extra, you will be able to access medical treatment through a network of preferred providers. This is very similar to a traditional health insurance plan. You will have to go to doctors and medical facilities that are included in your network. With this type of program, you are only going to have to worry about a $150 deductible as an individual or $300 deductible as a family for the year. With this plan, there is no enrollment fee to worry about. For a civilian outpatient visit, you are only going to have to pay 15 percent of the negotiated fee for the service.

TRICARE Standard

With TRICARE Standard, allows you to pay a certain fee for each service that you require. This type of coverage has the same deductible that you will pay with the TRICARE Extra coverage option. If you need a civilian outpatient visit, you are going to pay 20 percent of the negotiated rate for that service. This is going to be the least expensive TRICARE option of the three. 

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