Getting TRICARE for Your Child

You can get TRICARE for your child in two steps:

  1. Register your newborn or adopted child in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS). You must enroll in DEERS for TRICARE coverage.
  2. Choose a TRICARE health plan and enroll your child if necessary. 

You don't need a Social Security number to register your child in DEERS. Once you have one, update DEERS with that number. >>Learn More

Health Plan Options

How you enroll your new child depends on who you are. This includes newborns, newly adopted children, and children placed with sponsors as wards.

 

Active Duty Family Members

Stateside

Overseas

When do I need to register my child in DEERS?

  • Within 90 days of birth
  • Within 120 days of birth

What happens when I register my child in DEERS?

  • If you live in a stateside PSA, your child is auto-enrolled in TRICARE Prime
  • If not in a PSA, your child is auto-enrolled in TRICARE Select
  • You have 90 days from the auto-enrollment date to change to a different plan (TRICARE Prime Remote or USFHP, if available) 
  • Your child is auto-enrolled in TRICARE Select
  • You have 90 days from the auto-enrollment date to change to TRICARE Overseas Program (TOP) Prime or TOP Prime Remote, if available and command sponsored
What if I don't register my child in DEERS?
  • Your child won’t show as TRICARE eligible
  • Claims for your child deny starting when the child is 91 days old (stateside only)
    • Claims for your child deny starting when the child is 91 days old (overseas only)
What if I register my child in DEERS, but don't enroll in a plan?
  • Your child is automatically enrolled in a plan

What if I register my child in DEERS late?

  • Your child is automatically enrolled in TRICARE Prime or TRICARE Select when registered in DEERS. Coverage is backdated to the date of birth
  • You have 90 days from the auto-enrollment date to change to a different plan (TRICARE Prime Remote, TRICARE Select, TRICARE Prime, or USFHP, if available). The new plan is backdated to the date of birth
  • You will need to ask the contractor to re-process any claims that were denied or that should be processed under the new plan
  • Your child is automatically enrolled in TRICARE Select when registered in DEERS.
  • Coverage will be backdated to the date of birth
  • You have 90 days from th eauto-enrollment date to change to a different plan (TOP Prime or TOP Prime Remote, if command sponsored). The new plan is backdated to the date of birth
  • You need to ask the contractor to re-process any claims denied due to eligibility from day 121 to the date your child auto-enrolled 

 

 

Retirees

Stateside

Overseas

When do I need to register my child in DEERS?

  • Within 90 days of birth
  • Within 120 days of birth

What happens when I register my child in DEERS?

  • Nothing happens
  • You must enroll your child in a plan (Prime, Select, or USFHP where available) within 90 days of birth
  • Nothing happens
  • You must enroll your child in a plan within 120 days of birth
What if I don't register my child in DEERS?
  • Nothing happen
  • Claims for your child deny starting when the child is 91 days old
  • Your child won’t show as TRICARE eligible and won’t have access to military or civilian health care
  • Claims for your child deny starting when the child is 121 days old
What if I register my child in DEERS, but don't enroll in a plan?
  • Your child shows as Direct Care Only, meaning he or she can only get care and pharmacy services at a military hospital or clinic on a space-available basis. Your child doesn’t have access to civilian health care or retail or mail order pharmacy services
  • TRICARE won’t pay on any claims starting when the child is 91 days old 
  • Your child shows as Direct Care Only, meaning he or she can only get care and pharmacy services at a military hospital or clinic on a space-available basis.
  • If you don’t enroll your child in a TRICARE plan within 120 days of birth, your child remains Direct Care Only until the next TRICARE Open Season or qualifying life event. Your child won’t have access to civilian health care or retail or mail order pharmacy services.
  • Claims for your child deny starting when the child is 91 days old

What if I register my child in DEERS late?

  • Your child shows as Direct Care Only when registered in DEERS, meaning he or she can only get care and pharmacy services at a military hospital or clinic on a space-available basis.
  • Coverage won’t be backdated.
  • Your child remains Direct Care Only until the next TRICARE Open Season or qualifying life event. Your child won’t have access to civilian health care or retail or mail order pharmacy services.
  • You are responsible for all costs from day 91 until your child is enrolled in a TRICARE plan

  • Your child shows as Direct Care Only when registered in DEERS, meaning he or she can only get care and pharmacy services at a military hospital or clinic on a space-available basis.
  • Coverage won’t be backdated.
  • Your child remains Direct Care Only until the next TRICARE Open Season or qualifying life event. Your child won’t have access to civilian health care or retail or mail order pharmacy services.
  • You are responsible for all costs from day 121 until your child is enrolled in a TRICARE plan

You need to register your child in DEERS within one year (365 days) of his or her birth or adoption.  On day 366, your child won’t be able to receive benefits until you register them in DEERS.

Did you know?

Your child can enroll in TRICARE Prime if you live in a Prime Service Area. Contact your regional contractor for details.

Newborn Enrollment in the United States

The TRICARE Prime option in the U.S. requires newborns to be enrolled within 60 days to avoid a lapse in coverage.  If you anticipate moving to the U.S. soon after your baby is born, you’ll need to get your child in DEERS sooner.

Last Updated 1/4/2019