Changes Beginning January 1, 2018

If you currently have TRICARE coverage you will be automatically enrolled in your respective TRICARE plan in 2018.  Learn more about costs and enrollment fees.

The table below outlines how enrollments will change:

If on Dec. 31, 2017

Then on Jan 1, 2018*

You’re enrolled in TRICARE Prime

You’ll remain enrolled in TRICARE Prime.**

You’re covered under TRICARE Standard

You’ll be automatically enrolled
in TRICARE Select.**

You’re enrolled in TRICARE Young Adult, TRICARE Reserve Select, TRICARE Retired Reserve, or the Continued Health Benefit Program

You’ll remain enrolled in your current plan.

* New active duty service members are automatically enrolled in TRICARE Prime. New active duty family members will be automatically enrolled in TRICARE Prime if they live in a Prime Service Area and TRICARE Select if the family members live outside one. This includes National Guard and Reserve members ordered to active duty service for more than 30 consecutive days.

**If you currently have TRICARE Prime or TRICARE Standard and aren’t automatically enrolled on Jan. 1, 2018, contact the contractor for your region by visiting www.TRICARE.mil/contactus.

If you don’t enroll in a TRICARE plan or choose to disenroll from your TRICARE plan on or after January 1, 2018:

  • You can only receive care at a military clinic or hospital on a space available basis.
  • You will lose coverage of care from civilian providers.
  • Your prescriptions received through home delivery or from civilian retail pharmacies will no longer be covered. You may be able to get your prescription from a military pharmacy if that medication is on their formulary.

Re-enrolling in 2018

Only in 2018, you may enroll and re-enroll in TRICARE or change plans at any time.

Only in 2018, if you aren’t enrolled and then receive care from civilian network providers, you will:

  • Have the first episode of care covered by TRICARE
  • Be given an opportunity to enroll or re-enroll
  • If you don’t enroll at that time, you will be responsible for all subsequent costs.  TRICARE won’t pay on any other claims unless you have enrolled

Enrolling in 2019

Starting January 1, 2019, you will only be able to enroll during two periods:

  • During the Open Enrollment Season, or
  • Up to 90 days following a Qualifying Life Event.

What is the Open Enrollment Season?

An open enrollment season is the yearly period when you can enroll in or change your health plan. In 2018, open enrollment will be Nov. 12 – Dec. 10.  Any changes you select will take effect Jan. 1, 2019.

During open enrollment season, you will be able to:

  • Change to another TRICARE plan.
  • Do nothing and stay in the same plan.

Before each annual open enrollment season, we will tell you about any upcoming changes for the next calendar year.

What is a Qualifying Life Event?

Outside the open enrollment season, you can only enroll in or make changes to your  plan if you have a qualifying life event (QLE).  These include life events like getting married, having a baby, or losing other health coverage, among others. We will provide more information about QLEs on this page in the near future. Sign up for email alerts to be notified when this information is available.

Child Enrollment

Newborns, newly adopted children, and children placed with beneficiaries as wards won’t be automatically enrolled in any TRICARE plan.

If You Register Your Child in DEERS

Effective January 1, 2018, if you register your child in DEERS, we will automatically enroll them in TRICARE Prime if they live in a stateside Prime Service Area. We will enroll children who live overseas in TRICARE Select.

You will have up to 90 days from the birth (or court order) to change to a different TRICARE health plan. After 90 days, you must wait until another Qualifying Life Event (QLE) occurs or until the open enrollment season to enroll your child in a different TRICARE plan. If you don’t enroll your child in a health plan within 90 days, he or she will only be able to receive care on a space available basis at a military treatment facility and will not be eligible for network or mail order pharmacy coverage.


Last Updated 10/13/2017

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