Moving this Summer? Your TRICARE Options May Change
Are you starting a new adventure in a new location soon? If so, that’s a TRICARE Qualifying Life Event (QLE). A QLE is a major life change, like moving, getting married or divorced, or becoming eligible for Medicare. Moving doesn’t change your TRICARE eligibility. Your TRICARE coverage moves with you. But moving may change your TRICARE health plan options.
Because moving is a QLE, that means you’ll have 90 days from the date of the move to change your TRICARE health plan based on your eligibility. A QLE lets you enroll in or change your TRICARE health plan outside of the annual open season. When a QLE happens for one family member, it creates a QLE for the entire family. This means all family members may be able to switch TRICARE health plans when one person in the family has a QLE.
Before You Move
When you’re about to move:
- Don’t disenroll from your current plan before you move.
- You’re covered by your current TRICARE health plan on your way to your new location.
- Update your address and other new information in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS).
- Tell your regional contractor and doctors if you have other health insurance (OHI), in addition to TRICARE. By law, TRICARE pays after all OHI. OHI doesn’t apply to active duty service members (ADSMs).
If you’re enrolled in TRICARE Prime and moving to another Prime Service Area, you can transfer your TRICARE Prime enrollment. Depending on how far you move from your current home, you’ll likely need to change your primary care manager.
If you’re moving to an area where TRICARE Prime isn’t available, the QLE will allow you to change your enrollment. TRICARE Prime isn’t available everywhere. You may have different TRICARE health plan options when you move. ADSMS may only use TRICARE Prime.
If you’re already enrolled in TRICARE Select, update your personal information in DEERS. Then find a new TRICARE authorized network or non-network provider in your new location. Using a TRICARE network provider will help keep out-of-pocket costs lower.
Before you move, call the appropriate TRICARE Overseas Program (TOP) Regional Call Center for your new area. Active duty family members must be command-sponsored for TOP Prime or TOP Prime Remote coverage. Retirees and their family members aren’t eligible for TOP Prime options, but may be eligible for TOP Select.
During this moving season, remember that your TRICARE coverage moves with you. Take command of your health by learning more about QLEs and the upcoming open season.