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How to Enroll in TRICARE

To get TRICARE insurance, you have to sign up. The process of signing up for a plan is called enrollment. To sign up for TRICARE, you have to pick a plan that you qualify for and can afford.

You can enroll in a TRICARE plan online to make the process easy. But you should put together a list of documents that can help you fill out the application form the right way. To find out more about signing up for TRICARE, download our free guide.

Find Out About TRICARE Health Plans

The first step to apply for TRICARE is to pick a health plan and pay for it. These are the health plans you can pick:

  • TRICARE Prime
  • TRICARE Prime Remote
  • TRICARE Prime Overseas
  • TRICARE Prime Remote Overseas
  • TRICARE Select
  • TRICARE Select Overseas
  • US Family Health Plan
  • TRICARE Reserve Select
  • TRICARE Retired Reserve
  • TRICARE Young Adult
  • Continued Health Care Benefit Plan

Learn About Different Ways to Apply for TRICARE

The process to apply for TRICARE might be different depending on the plan you pick. Different plans might ask you to give different information or they might ask you to apply in a certain way. Usually, you will have to follow these main steps to enroll in a TRICARE plan:

  • Pick a manager – First, you have to pick a primary care manager. The manager you pick will depend on if you are part of the East or the West region.
  • Fill out an application – Next, you have to fill out the application form. When you fill out the form, give information for everyone in your family that will be covered by the plan. You can apply in 3 ways:
    • TRICARE enrollment online – You can use the TRICARE website to fill out the form online and submit it.
    • By Phone – There is a toll-free phone number that you can call to apply by phone. You can apply by phone if you are in the U.S. or overseas.
    • By Mail – You can send in your application and documents that prove your information by mail, too. Keep in mind that you have to fill out the form for your region, East or West, and mail it to the address on your form.
  • Start your plan – After you enroll, the last step is to start or “activate” your plan. You should be able to do this online by setting up an account.

Some steps in the TRICARE application process can be different for different plans. For example, if you want to apply for a TRICARE Reserve Select plan, you have to qualify online first. Then you have to set up an online account for payments and update your information. Next, you have to send in your application, documents and payment by mail or fax to your regional contractor in the East, West or overseas region.

Find Out About Enrollment in the DEER System

For some plans, you do not have to enroll in TRICARE. Instead, you just have to be registered with the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting (DEER) System. For example, as long as people using TRICARE for Life are registered with the DEER System, no other application steps are needed.

To be part of the DEER System, you have to go through a different application process. You have to fill out an application called Form DD 1172 and send in documents that back up the information you gave. You have to be interviewed, too.

The documents you need to give depend on if you are an active-duty military member or someone related to them. For example, the wife or husband of a military member has to give original or certified copies of these documents:

  • A marriage certificate
  • Their spouse’s birth certificate
  • Their spouse’s Social Security card
  • A photo ID of their spouse

To add a child to the DEER System, you have to give a birth certificate, a Social Security card and a marriage certificate if the child is a step-child.

You can add different types of people to the DEER System as long as you have the right documents. You can add:

  • Children who are full-time students and older than 21.
  • Children who are born outside of marriage.
  • Parents or wards who depend on you financially.
  • People turning 65 years old.

For more information on TRICARE enrollment, download our guide for free.