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TRICARE Open Season Checklist 2022

Fall season is also TRICARE Open Season; this is the time when military families can make changes to their TRICARE coverage without needing the justification of a major life event like a birth or death in the family.

Who Can Qualify for TRICARE?

  • Military members
  • Military spouses
  • Dependent children
  • Dependent parents or Parent-in-Law
  • Qualifying ex-spouses
  • Surviving spouse
  • Surviving children/dependents

Who can Change Coverage During TRICARE Open Season?

TRICARE Open Season is for family members, not active duty service members. That’s because Active Duty coverage for TRICARE is dictated by the duty location; TRICARE Prime, TRICARE Prime Remote, TRICARE Prime Overseas, etc.

Active duty troops must use TRICARE Prime or one of its alternates. Family members have more options, and during Open Season you can change those options to better suit you. You don’t have to change plans, but the opportunity is there once each year.

When is TRICARE Open Season?

TRICARE Open Season starts on November 14, 2022, and ends December 13, 2022. The open season dates may change from year to year.

TRICARE Checklist: Consider Your Basic Options

During Open Season you have the choice to do nothing and remain in your current healthcare plan. But you also have the option to enroll in a new plan or change plans. You can also switch between family coverage and individual coverage.

TRICARE Checklist: Update DEERS With The Most Current Information

If you have dependents or anticipate having dependents who have not been added to the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System or DEERS, those dependents must be added before TRICARE coverage can start on those beneficiaries.

Keep all your information current in DEERS for best results; it is a terrible idea to try to update DEERS and TRICARE at the same time. Update DEERS first.

TRICARE Checklist: Changing Your TRICARE PLAN

The first thing to do if you’re considering a new TRICARE plan? Review the details of your current plan and compare it to others you might be considering. A side-by-side comparison is crucial to make sure you get as much out of your health insurance as possible. The basic options include:

  • TRICARE Prime: Managed care, and offering the most affordable coverage according to the TRICARE official site.
  • TRICARE Select: Self-managed care. TRICARE says this option offers “the most freedom” thanks in part to not having a required primary care manager.

You can compare TRICARE plans to learn more about how these options work. Once you have compared the features and options, it’s time to review the costs, which you can do using a TRICARE cost comparison tool offered on the official site.

It’s crucial to know all your options. Did you know there’s a wide range of TRICARE coverage you can select from once you decide whether you want managed care or self-managed care. Your options may include

  • 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
  • US Family Health Plan

TRICARE Checklist: Planning Future Care and Coverage

If you need to review your Open Season TRICARE coverage options, there are some big questions to ask. They include:

  • Is your family size changing this year?
  • Are you getting married or divorced this year?
  • Are you moving this year?
  • Are you PCSing this year?
  • Are you turning 60 or 65 this year?
  • Are you retiring or separating from military service this year?

If the answer to any of these questions is YES, that may affect your choices and options for coverage.

Remember, active duty troops who leave active duty will have to elect for different TRICARE coverage options depending on whether they are going into the Guard or Reserve, retiring as a military pension-qualified veteran, or if you are simply separating from the service and going into civilian life.

You don’t need to wait for TRICARE Open Season to make coverage changes on some of the life milestones listed above; if you experience any of those circumstances you may be eligible to make Open Season-type changes within a 90-day window.

These are known as Qualifying Life Events and you can either make the changes during open season or wait until these events actually occur to modify your healthcare options.

 

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