TRICARE 101 | TRICARE (2024)

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.


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

  • Active duty service members and families
  • National Guard/Reserve members and families
  • Retired service members and families
  • Retired Reserve members and families
  • Beneficiaries eligible for TRICARE and Medicare
  • Survivors
  • Children
  • Former spouses
  • Medal of Honor recipients and families
  • Dependent parents and parents-in-law
  • Foreign Force members and families

To check your eligibility, first make sure your information isfully updated in DEERS. Then, you can log intomilConnectand 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 have to file your own claims.>>Learn More


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:

  • New Active Duty Service Members
  • New Spouse
  • National Guard and Reserve Members
  • Family Members of National Guard or Reserve Members
  • Foreign Force Members and Families

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 FinderandCompare Plansare useful tools on our website. To learn more about each plan, select from the list below:

  • TRICARE Prime
  • TRICARE Prime Remote
  • TRICARE Prime Overseas
  • TRICARE Prime Remote Overseas
  • TRICARE Select
  • TRICARE Select Overseas
  • TRICARE For Life
  • TRICARE Reserve Select
  • TRICARE Retired Reserve
  • TRICARE Young Adult
  • TRICARE Plus
  • US Family Health Plan

To see what TRICARE plans you may be eligible for, use theTRICARE Plan Findertool.


How do I enroll in TRICARE?

Once you know your plan, visit theTRICARE Enrollment pagefor 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 theTRICARE Compare Costtool 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 theProvider Typespage or use theFind a Doctor tool.

What does TRICARE cover?

You can use theTRICARE Covered Servicestool to see if something is covered or not by searching keywords, or browsing common categories. To check if your prescription drugs are covered, visit theTRICARE Formulary.

Can I get TRICARE worldwide?TRICARE 101 | TRICARE (4)

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

Ourcontract partnershelp 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.


TRICARE offersprescription drug coverageand many options for filling your prescriptions. You have the same pharmacy coverage with any TRICARE health plan. But, if you're enrolled in theUS 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 eligibilityonlineor call 1-800-538-9552
  2. Explore yourhealth plan options
  3. Decide which is right for you andenroll(if required)

Where can I find more information on TRICARE?

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

  • TRICARE Newsroom
  • TRICARE Publications
  • TRICARE Newsletters
  • TRICARE Resources
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Military Hospitals and Clinics
  • TRICARE Podcast
  • Find a Phone Number

You cansign upto receive TRICARE updates and news releases via email. You can also follow TRICARE onFacebookandTwitter.

Last Updated 8/24/2023

TRICARE 101 | TRICARE (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: The Hon. Margery Christiansen

Last Updated:

Views: 6488

Rating: 5 / 5 (70 voted)

Reviews: 85% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: The Hon. Margery Christiansen

Birthday: 2000-07-07

Address: 5050 Breitenberg Knoll, New Robert, MI 45409

Phone: +2556892639372

Job: Investor Mining Engineer

Hobby: Sketching, Cosplaying, Glassblowing, Genealogy, Crocheting, Archery, Skateboarding

Introduction: My name is The Hon. Margery Christiansen, I am a bright, adorable, precious, inexpensive, gorgeous, comfortable, happy person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.