TRICARE and You: Coast Guard Reserve benefits

This blog is the most recent in a series helping members of the Coast Guard family understand how to use their TRICARE benefits. The blog series will continue every Monday, right here on Coast Guard All Hands.

Written by Cmdr. Paul Fawcett

Petty Officer 2nd Class Bradley Walker, a member of Coast Guard Port Security Unit 308, picks up his two-year-old son, Anderson, after returning home to Kiln, Miss., from a nine-month deployment to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Sept. 30, 2015. Walker was a tactical coxswain for the unit while they helped maintain a continuous maritime anti-terrorism force protection presence in the Naval Defensive Sea Area of Guantanamo Bay directly supporting the commander of Joint Task Force Guantanamo Bay Naval reservation and adjoining waters. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Jonathan Lally.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Bradley Walker, a member of Coast Guard Port Security Unit 308, picks up his two-year-old son, Anderson, after returning home to Kiln, Miss., from a nine-month deployment to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Sept. 30, 2015. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Jonathan Lally.

If you serve in the Reserve forces and need medical insurance, the TRICARE Reserve option may be right for you. You’ll need to compare the options available against other plans to determine if the TRICARE options available to you best fit your needs.

What if I’m an activated reservist?

If you are a reservist activated for more than 30 days, you are eligible for coverage under TRICARE Prime or Prime Remote as are your active-duty counterparts, or your choice of Prime or Standard for dependents. If your dependents were covered under an insurance program before coming on active duty, and you are utilizing only TRICARE while on orders, and want to keep your doctor, you will need to ensure that your current doctor will accept your TRICARE plan. If you don’t, you may be responsible for point of service fees when you visit this doctor.

Be sure that all eligible dependents are enrolled in DEERS and that you select the TRICARE option that you want for them. If you make no selection, you will default to TRICARE Standard for your dependents and will incur copays when you visit your doctor. You should take these administrative actions when processing on to your active duty orders of 30 days or more.

Can I get TRICARE coverage if I’m a drilling reservist?

As a drilling reservist, not on active duty orders, you and your dependents are eligible for TRICARE Reserve Select. TRICARE Reserve Select is a premium based program. Premiums for members are $47.90 per month, or $210.83 per month for a family, regardless of the number of children. An initial two-month-premium payment is required on enrollment. An annual deductible of $150 per individual and $300 per family does apply for E-5 and above or $50 and $100 respectively for E-4 and below.

I’m a retired reservist but not yet 60, can I get coverage?

Yes, you are eligible for coverage under TRICARE Retired Reserve program. This option covers “gray area” or RET-2 reservists who have retired but not yet reached age 60. Coverage may also be purchased for families. Monthly premiums for the member are $388.79 per month for the member and $957.44 per month for member and family.

I’m a retired reservist over age 60, what’s my coverage?

Reservists and families over age 60 are eligible for TRICARE for Life. You must be eligible for MEDICARE Part A and B. TRICARE For Life always pays secondarily to MEDICARE. There is no enrollment fee for TRICARE For Life but you do pay MEDICARE premiums based on your annual income.

FAQ:

Q: How do I enroll my eligible family members to the TRICARE Reserve Select?

A: You can do it online at the DMDC website or you can call your regional contractor: Health Net (North) 1-877-874-2273, Humana (South) 1-800-444-5445, or United health Care (West) 1-877-988-9378.

Q: Where can I get more information about the plans that you mentioned?

A: Visit the TRICARE website and look up the plan you are interested in.

Q: How do I ensure my dependents are enrolled in DEERS?

A: Log on to milconnect  or call 800-538-9552.

Have questions about TRICARE benefits? Let us know in the comments below or by sending an email to socialmedia@uscg.mil!

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