TRICARE 101

What is TRICARE?

TRICARE is the uniformed services health care program for active duty service members (ADSMs), active duty family members (ADFMs), National Guard and Reserve members and their family members, retirees and retiree family members, survivors, and certain former spouses worldwide.

TRICARE brings together the health care resources of the Military Health System—such as military hospitals and clinics—with a network of civilian health care professionals, institutions, pharmacies, and suppliers to foster, protect, sustain, and restore health for those entrusted to their care.

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Your service personnel office determines your TRICARE eligibility. Those eligible for TRICARE include:

To check your eligibility, first make sure your information is fully updated in DEERS. Then, you can log into milConnect and check whether you are eligible for TRICARE. >>Learn more

Where can I get care?

The Military Health System (MHS) is a global, comprehensive, integrated system. You may be able to get care from a military hospital or clinic, a civilian network of providers, or TRICARE-authorized non-network providers.

Military Hospitals and Clinics

The Department of Defense (DoD) operates many military hospitals and clinics. You may be able to seek care there, depending on where you are, what plan you have, and your beneficiary category. >>Learn More

Civilian Network

You can also seek care from a civilian network of TRICARE-authorized providers. This network depends on what region you are in. >>Learn More
To search for a provider in one of our provider directories, visit the Find a Doctor tool to get you to the right directory for you. >>Learn More
Note: You may be able to see a non-network 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, depending on your TRICARE plan. But you may have higher costs and you may to file your own claims.>>Learn More

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There are different plan options depending on who you are. If you're new to TRICARE, select the option below that best describes you for more information:

What plans can I choose from?

There are a number of TRICARE plans available. Remember that your eligibility for these plans depends on who you and your sponsor are. Plan Finder and Compare Plans are useful tools on our website. To learn more about each plan, select from the list below:

To see what TRICARE plans you may be eligible for, use the TRICARE Plan Finder tool.

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How do I enroll in TRICARE?

Once you know your plan, visit the TRICARE Enrollment page for steps on how to enroll or purchase a plan.

How much does TRICARE cost?

Each TRICARE plan has different costs for care and coverage. You can use the TRICARE Compare Cost tool to view and compare costs for covered services, enrollment, and plan premiums.

Where can I get care?

Depending on your plan, you’ll get care from either a military hospital or clinic, or a civilian provider. For more information, visit the Provider Types page or use the Find a Doctor tool.

What does TRICARE cover?

You can use the TRICARE Covered Services tool to see if something is covered or not searching keywords, or browsing common categories. To check if your prescription drugs are covered, visit the TRICARE Formulary.

Can I get TRICARE worldwide?coverage map image

Yes, TRICARE is available worldwide.

There are two TRICARE regions in the U.S.:

  • TRICARE East
  • TRICARE West

And there’s one overseas region with three areas:

  • TRICARE Eurasia-Africa
  • TRICARE Latin America and Canada
  • TRICARE Pacific

Our contract partners help deliver the benefit around the world. Your benefits are the same no matter where you live. There are different customer service contacts for each of our partners.

does TRICARE offer pharmacy, dental, and vision coverage image 

TRICARE offers prescription drug coverage and many options for filling your prescriptions. You have the same pharmacy coverage with any TRICARE health plan. But, if you're enrolled in the US Family Health Plan, you have separate pharmacy coverage.

Dental coverage is separate from TRICARE’s medical coverage. Your dental coverage is based on who you are.

Vision coverage, including eye exams, depends on:

  • Who you are
  • Your TRICARE plan
  • Your age

Getting Started is Easy

  1. Confirm your eligibility online or call 1-800-538-9552
  2. Explore your health plan options
  3. Decide which is right for you and enroll (if required)

Where can I find more information on TRICARE?

You can find a number of helpful resources on TRICARE.mil, including:

You can sign up to receive TRICARE updates and news releases via email. You can also follow TRICARE on Facebook and Twitter.

Last Updated 8/24/2021