Many servicemembers leaving the military will now have more time to find
private health care.
Tricare began accepting claims on March 17 as part of a new program giving
servicemembers 180 days of Tricare eligibility upon separation from the
Servicemembers and their family members eligible for the program include:
• Members involuntarily separated from active duty.
• Reserve component members separated from active duty after being called up
or ordered in support of a contingency operation for an active-duty period of
more than 30 days.
• Members separated from active duty after being involuntarily retained in
support of a contingency operation.
• Members separated from active duty following a voluntary agreement to stay
on active duty for less than one year in support of a contingency mission.
In the past, troops with six years of service or less would have had 60 days
of Tricare eligibility. Servicemembers with six years or more of service would
have had 120 days of Tricare eligibility. Servicemembers categorized as
retirees or those voluntarily leaving the service are exempt from the program.
"People that are separating, need to go to their personnel office to make
sure their DEERS [Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System] information
is updated," said Troy Kitch, spokesman for Tricare Europe.
For other eligibility questions, servicemembers should contact their
personnel office, Kitch said.
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