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Tricare Supplemental Insurance

I love Tricare - I think it is great insurance.  However, there are times when Tricare doesn't cover all your costs, expecially if you are a retiree or using Tricare Standard.  As a result, several companies and organizations offer Tricare supplemental insurance policies.   A Tricare supplemental insurance policy covers some or all of the remaining costs after Tricare pays medical claims.   While the details differ amongst the various policies, they can be a great tool in your overall insurance plan.

Who Needs A Supplement?

Each situation is different, but generally a supplement can be financially beneficial to retirees whose only health insurance is Tricare.  Some active duty families who do not use Tricare Prime may also find a supplement worthwhile.  If you have other health insurance, such as employer-provided insurance, in addition to your Tricare coverage, you probably don't need a Tricare supplement.

Where Do I Buy A Tricare Supplement?

If you do an internet search on "Tricare supplement," many choices will come up.  Most are offered by military organizations who contract an insurance company to provide coverage.  The Federal Publishing group offers a good chart that shows the various offering groups and their costs.

How Do I Know Which Company To Use?

Be sure to get a copy of the potential policy from several groups to see which coverage will best fit your family's needs.  Check things pre-existing condition coverage, deductibles, and maximum benefit limits.  The Tricare website has an excellent list of questions to ask about any supplemental insurance policy.  Be sure that the policy specifically states that this is a Tricare supplemental policy to ensure that Tricare will pay before the supplement.

Changes to Retiree Tricare Prime

On 1 October 2013, more than 17,000 military retirees and their family members will lose their Tricare Prime coverage and need to move to Tricare Standard .  As a result, their out-of-pocket medical costs will increase.  If you are one of the people affected by this change, you should seriously consider whether a Tricare supplement is a good choice for you.

If you regularly incur out-of-pocket medical costs with your current insurance plan(s), and you use Tricare for part or all of your insurance coverage, you may find that a Tricare supplemental insurance policy will help you decrease your costs.  Look into this coverage to see if it will work out well for you and your family.

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