A Change of Address May Mean New TRICARE Health Options
Are you and your family moving? Moving doesn’t change your TRICARE eligibility. But it may change the TRICARE health care options available to you and your family. A change of address, such as moving to a new country, city, region, or ZIP+4 code is a TRICARE Qualifying Life Event (QLE). This QLE means you have 90 days from the date of your address change to enroll in or change your TRICARE Prime or TRICARE Select health plan based on your eligibility or plan availability in the new location.
A QLE lets you enroll in or change your TRICARE health plan outside of the annual TRICARE 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:
- Don’t disenroll from your current health plan. Your current coverage will continue until your enrollment transfer is completed after you arrive at your new location.
- Contact your current regional contractor about your upcoming move, so they can begin transferring your enrollment.
- Learn about TRICARE options in your new location. Use the TRICARE Plan Finder to see what plans are available and what you and family members may qualify for.
After you move:
- Update your address and other new information in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS).
- If you want to make changes and you’re eligible to do so, you may change the TRICARE health plan for you or your family members.
- If you make changes to your health plan, the effective date will be the date your address change is effective in DEERS.
- Tell your regional contractor and doctors if you have other health insurance (OHI) besides TRICARE. TRICARE pays after most other health insuranceHealth insurance you have in addition to TRICARE, such as Medicare or an employer-sponsored health insurance. TRICARE supplements don’t qualify as "other health insurance.". OHI doesn’t apply to active duty service members (ADSMs).
For a Stateside Move
If you’re enrolled in TRICARE Prime and moving to another Prime Service Area within the U.S., 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.
TRICARE Prime isn’t available everywhere. You can use the TRICARE Plan Finder to see if TRICARE Prime is available in your area. If you’re moving to an area where TRICARE Prime isn’t available, the QLE will allow you to change your enrollment. (ADSMs may only use TRICARE Prime.)
If you’re enrolled in TRICARE Select or a premium-based plan (TRICARE Reserve Select, TRICARE Retired Reserve, TRICARE Young Adult Select, and the Continued Health Care Benefit Program), 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 your out-of-pocket costs lower.
For an Overseas Move
Before you move, call the TRICARE Overseas Program (TOP) Regional Call Center for your new area. Although retirees and their family members aren’t eligible for TOP Prime options, they may be eligible for TOP Select. Only active duty family members who are command-sponsored may enroll in TOP Prime or TOP Prime Remote.
Remember that your TRICARE coverage moves with you. Take command of your health by learning more about QLEs.
Last Updated 2/17/2021