Tricare Early Eligibility for Reserve Component

Sign by the main gate at Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Ft. Worth, formerly Carswell AFB, Texas. (U.S. Air Force photo)
Sign by the main gate at Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Ft. Worth, formerly Carswell AFB, Texas. (U.S. Air Force photo)

If you have received delayed-effective-date active duty orders with a reporting date some time in the future, did you know you and your family might already be eligible for health care coverage under Tricare?

If your orders are for more than 30 days of active duty and in support of a contingency operation (either within the fifty states or overseas), you and your family may be eligible for certain Tricare medical and dental benefits even before you report for active duty. This early eligibility period may start up to 90 days prior to your reporting date, depending on your orders.

You should be notified of your eligibility when your orders are issued. To verify eligibility for the early benefit, you may check your status on the Guard-Reserve Portal, speak with your unit administrator or call DEERS at 800-538-9552. Eligibility is directly related affected by the accuracy of your DEERS information. You should always update DEERS with any changes in your duty status, family status or address. It's always a good idea to do an annual verification at even if no changes have occurred.

You can file a claim as soon as DEERS shows eligibility. The provider may or may not submit the claim for you. If a claim was declined due to incorrect eligibility, you can contact Tricare for reprocessing once eligibility is updated in DEERS.

If your orders are cancelled prior to reporting for active duty or if you are released before reporting, eligibility for you and your family will end on the order cancellation date.

You have the option of enrolling your family for coverage under the Tricare Dental Program. As a servicemember, your TDP coverage will end once you are ordered to active-duty for more than 30 days and given the early eligibility benefit. During activation you will have the same benefits as an active duty service member. If you had TDP coverage before activation, you will be automatically re-enrolled upon deactivation.

Your family members are eligible to enroll, or remain enrolled, in the TDP, regardless of the service member's enrollment. Active-duty family members (including activated Guard and Reserve) pay a reduced monthly premium for the TDP. Initial enrollment requires a 12-month commitment, and then continues on a month-to-month basis.

Once you report for active-duty, you, the service member, must enroll in Tricare Prime or Prime Remote. Your family members may be eligible to enroll in either Tricare Prime or Prime Remote if they meet certain requirements and if all information is accurately updated in the DEERS system.

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