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DoD Provides Transitional Health Care for 60, 120 Days

National Guard Bureau

WASHINGTON, Aug. 19, 2002 – Family members of certain service members separating from active duty are eligible for up to 120 days of TRICARE health care benefits.

The Department of Defense Worldwide TRICARE Transitional Health Care Demonstration Project is retroactive to Jan. 1 and in effect for two years. It applies to families of:

  • Active duty service members involuntarily separated under honorable conditions.

  • Reserve component members separated after serving on active duty for more than 30 days in support of contingency operations.

  • A service member separated from active duty after involuntary retention on active duty in support of a contingency operation.

  • A separated service member who voluntarily remained on active duty for one year or less in support of a contingency operation.
TRICARE officials said eligible families may use TRICARE Prime, the least costly option for most people; TRICARE Standard, the fee-for- service option with deductibles and cost shares; or TRICARE Extra, the network option with deductibles and negotiated fees. Eligible families receive 60 days of transitional coverage if sponsors served less than six years on active duty and 120 days if sponsors served six or more.

Transitional benefits are not automatic. Sponsors and family members must be enrolled in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System. Active duty sponsors may verify or update DEERS information by contacting or visiting the local facility that issues military identification cards. A facility locator can be found at www.dmdc.osd.mil/rsl. The DEERS portal page is www.tricare.osd.mil/deers/.

TRICARE Prime families automatically lose coverage when the sponsor separates from active duty, but they can continue coverage without a break by re-enrolling with a TRICARE regional managed care support contractor or local TRICARE service center.

The demonstration project includes no dental benefits. The TRICARE dental program for the reserve components is unaffected.

Claims are processed through normal TRICARE channels. Reimbursement for eligible out-of-pocket health care expenses can be claimed from TRICARE on DD Form 2642. Itemized bills are required. Family members who have other health insurance must send claims to that provider before TRICARE.

For more information on TRICARE and claim forms, call the Worldwide TRICARE Information Center toll-free at 1-888-DOD-CARE (1-888-363- 2273), visit the TRICARE Web site at www.tricare.osd.mil, or visit the TRICARE service center or benefits counselor at the nearest military health care facility.

(From a TRICARE announcement.)

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