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What to Know Before TRICARE Open Season This Fall

By Katie Lange
Department of Defense

There have been a lot of changes to TRICARE in the past several months. Soon, you’ll have the chance to make enrollment choices for 2019 during TRICARE open season, which runs from Nov. 12 to Dec. 10. But first, you need to know what’s available to you, right?

There are two TRICARE plans that require enrollment: TRICARE Prime and TRICARE Select.

TRICARE open season will apply to any enrollment changes you want to make for these two plans. If you like your current TRICARE Prime or TRICARE Select coverage and will still be eligible, there’s nothing you need to do during open season.

How Do Prime and Select Differ?

TRICARE Prime is similar to a managed care or health maintenance organization option, commonly called an HMO. You get most of your care from a primary care manager, who manages and coordinates your care.

With TRICARE Select, you manage your own health care and may get care from any TRICARE-authorized provider you choose without a referral.

The two TRICARE plans have different costs, enrollment fees and referral rules and choices for beneficiary categories. Costs are also determined by your initial enlistment or appointment date in the uniformed services. But we’ll touch on those in upcoming blogs.

TRICARE Open Season

TRICARE is establishing an open enrollment season. Watch this video to learn more about what this means for your TRICARE benefit.

Posted by TRICARE on Tuesday, September 18, 2018


What if I’m no longer eligible for TRICARE Prime or Select?

If that’s the case, there are premium-based TRICARE plans that you may be eligible to purchase:

These plans are available to certain National Guard and Reserve members; certain family members, including young adults who age out of their parents’ TRICARE coverage; and certain individuals who lose TRICARE eligibility.

The Traditional Assistance Management Program provides 180 days of premium, free transitional health care benefits after regular TRICARE benefits end.

TRICARE For Life may be another option. It’s Medicare-wraparound coverage available to TRICARE beneficiaries who are entitled to Medicare Part A and have Medicare Part B, regardless of age or where you live.

Click on the image to enlarge it.


Editor’s note: This blog was originally published Oct. 1, 2018, on DoD Live.

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