If you are engaged to a servicemember or a new military spouse, you might be wondering how health insurance with the military works. Our quick guide introduces you to Tricare so you can decide if it’s the right choice for you and your family (or to supplement with your civilian/private insurance).
Having the love of your life propose and ask you to spend the rest of your life with them couldn’t be any more perfect. From the time we’re little girls we dream of the day we meet our life partner and when that day finally comes and your loved one is asking for you to spend eternity with them, it’s a magical moment. From the moment you say “yes” to the proposal life is altered and you find yourself dreaming of the life you’ll have with your soon to be spouse: the years to come, the family you’ll have, etc. This excitement will be the force that carries you through until the day you’ll say “I do.”
When you sign on to spend your life with an active military serviceman or woman, you have all of the same dreams and wishes that other couples do. It becomes pretty evident though that yours isn’t the same as many other unions and you’ll face some pretty significant changes pretty early on in your marriage. Months of separation, living on base with your SO and constant relocation are just a few things you’ll go through but one significant hurdle of becoming a military spouse is figuring out your Tricare military insurance.
Figuring out the ins and outs of your insurance can be a bit of a mystery, especially if you’re brand new to being married to a military spouse. While it took a lot of trial and error to figure it out myself, I can now say that I’ve gotten the hang of it (mostly). For those who are new to married life with an active service member and have found themselves scratching their heads or frustrated to the max with figuring out Tricare, I’ve put together a short list of facts that might just come in handy for you!
- Tricare is made of up of 3 different regions: North, South and West. Each branch is run by a different company, none of them are related. Each time you find yourself having to relocate, you have to re-enroll to keep your Prime status because the companies do not share info with one another. You’ll also have to start from the ground up and wait for referrals from your new doctor after you PCS.
- Your military ID card becomes your Insurance Card. This is confusing to a lot of new members when you’re asked for your insurance card. You’ll also have to memorize your spouses social security member because your dependent insurance card won’t have your sponsors (your spouse is your sponsor) number on it.
- Unfortunately Tricare doesn’t cover dental. They do however contract out to MetLife and you’ll have to enroll into the plan separately BUT it’s fantastic coverage once you’re all signed up. If you want to avoid out of pocket costs, be sure to get yourself signed up right away. You can find the enrollment forms here.
- Tricare Representatives are great! I’ve dealt with my fair share of unprofessional reps but Tricare has reps onboard that are a breeze to work with. They’re friendly, knowledgeable and super helpful to boot. What ever issues you’re stuck on, the Tricare representatives are more than happy to help. So don’t be afraid to call them with questions!
There are a lot of hurdles to get through when you’re first starting out as a military spouse and Tricare can be tricky to figure out but hopefully some of those will be helpful for those just starting out. There is also a lot of helpful information included on the Tricare website that will also benefit you if you come up against any snags. From figuring out which benefits you’re eligible for, to pharmacy discounts, you’ll find a lot of information that will help you sort through your Tricare issues!