Stay Healthy with TRICARE Preventive Health Care

8/5/2020

Now more than ever, staying healthy is a priority. Besides washing your hands, social distancing, and wearing a cloth face covering, what else can you do to stay healthy? You can engage in preventive health care. That means keeping up with routine immunizations, health exams, and preventive screenings. TRICARE covers many preventive health care services at no out-of-pocket costs to you.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, many preventive service appointments or elective procedures were canceled or delayed. You may have put off making appointments due to concerns about possible exposure.

“Now’s the time to pencil these services back into your calendar,” said Dr. James Black, medical director of the Clinical Support Division at the Defense Health Agency. “They can help identify and treat potential health issues before becoming serious. Depending on where you live, access to preventive care may still be limited, so check with your provider.”

If you’re enrolled in a TRICARE Prime plan, you can get preventive care from your primary care manager or any TRICARE network provider in your region. If you have TRICARE Select, you can visit a TRICARE network provider or any TRICARE-authorized providerAn authorized provider is any individual, institution/organization, or supplier that is licensed by a state, accredited by national organization, or meets other standards of the medical community, and is certified to provide benefits under TRICARE. There are two types of TRICARE-authorized providers: Network and Non-Network. DS. You’ll pay nothing for covered preventive services from a TRICARE network provider.

Schedule Physicals and Exams

If your child hasn’t had a school physical or routine immunizations before the fall school year, schedule the appointments now. TRICARE also covers well-child care for children under age 6 (from birth through age 5). You can ask your provider which screenings and immunizations are needed, and when your child should get them.

TRICARE covers Health Promotion and Disease Prevention exams for all beneficiaries over age 6. These visits include screenings for blood pressure, cholesterol, cancer, and more.

“Sometimes people who feel fine don’t schedule regular check-ups,” said Black. “But regular check-ups and screenings can prevent you from getting sick or catch a disease in its early stages, so don’t wait until you feel unwell to see a provider.”

Check Immunization Records

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), vaccines reduce your child’s risk of infection by helping them safely develop immunity to diseases. Make sure that your child stays current on vaccinations. You can check the CDC vaccination schedule, and talk to your child’s provider if they need to catch up on missed vaccinations.

Teens and adults need periodic vaccinations as well, so ask your provider if you need immunizations to help you stay healthy. You can get covered vaccines from any TRICARE-authorized provider at no cost. You may have to pay copayments or cost-shares for the office visit or for other services received during the same visit. Remember, you can get some covered vaccines at TRICARE retail network pharmacies.

Take Care of Eyes

Healthy vision is vital. For children, it even reduces barriers to learning. Your vision benefits, including eye exams, depend on sponsor status, your TRICARE health plan, and age. You may need a referral or pre-authorization for some vision care services. If you have vision coverage through the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP), follow the rules of that plan.

Don’t Forget About Teeth

It can be easy to forget about your oral health, but check with your dentist to see if they’ve resumed regular cleanings. TRICARE offers dental coverage to active duty family members through the TRICARE Dental Program (TDP). As outlined in the TRICARE Dental Program Handbook, TDP covers two routine cleanings and two fluoride treatments. This is during a consecutive 12-month time period for children ages 1 and older. If you or your family members have dental coverage through FEDVIP, follow the rules of your plan. 

Help you and your family members stay healthy. Check out the Military Health System’s August Preventive Health Month page to learn more. Find out about the preventive services that TRICARE covers to prevent serious diseases and keep you fighting fit.

At the time of posting, this information is current. For the most recent information, contact your TRICARE contractor or local military hospital or clinic.

Last Updated 8/5/2020