TRICARE Retired Reserve is one of several health care plans offered by the Defense Health Agency under the Military Health System that qualified service members and their families can utilize. Understanding the TRICARE Retired Reserve cost and benefit options can be complicated. Making sure you know the limitations and options available to you within any potential health care plan is important, especially if you will also be offering coverage to the rest of your family.
TRICARE Retired Reserve eligibility and enrollment factors can limit who is able to enroll in this program and to benefit from it. If you do qualify, then your TRICARE Retired Reserve coverage can take care of you and all of your qualified beneficiaries both within the United States and abroad, which can be a great relief while traveling. If this is the right plan for you, then you can find out if you qualify and then enroll to begin receiving coverage once you retire from service. However, there is an age limit on this plan, so be sure to stay on top of that transition when the time comes.
What is TRICARE Retired Reserve?
TRICARE Retired Reserve is a health insurance plan for retired members of any reserve branch as well as for their eligible family members or for their eligible survivors. TRICARE Retired Reserve enrollment can be a great option for those who retire from reserve service but are not yet receiving their retired pay. During that time, former service members and their families can be fully covered worldwide so they can rest easy knowing everyone is taken care of under the military plan.
The TRICARE Retired Reserve health care plan does have an upper age limit. Once you turn 60 years of age and begin drawing your retirement pay, you will have to change your health care plan to a different TRICARE option. That could include learning how to enroll in TRICARE Prime or TRICARE Select and either of their subsidiaries, or you could look into TRICARE For Life if you qualify based on Medicare enrollment.
Learn About TRICARE Retired Reserve Requirements
To meet the TRICARE Retired Reserve eligibility criteria, you must be a retired reserve member who is qualified for non-regular retirement and who is younger than 60 years of age. You also cannot be eligible for the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) program. Alternatively, you can be a qualified family member of a retired reserve member who meets those criteria. Always remember to have your Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) information updated so that all qualified beneficiaries can receive their coverage.
The TRICARE Retired Reserve plan can also apply to survivors of retired reserve members who meet certain conditions. Getting all of the eligibility criteria and details can help you to best determine whether or not you qualify and how you could potentially enroll. Download our free in-depth guide to learn more about the Retired Reserve plan.
Find Out About TRICARE Retired Reserve Costs
TRICARE Retired Reserve costs include several levels of payments you must make in order to maintain your eligibility for the program. First, there is the TRICARE Retired Reserve premium, which is a monthly amount based on whether you hold the coverage for just yourself or for your whole family. That must be paid in order to keep your coverage.
The TRICARE Retired Reserve deductible is the next payment, which also reaches a certain threshold based on your coverage status. You will pay more for family coverage, but you can save by using providers within your network.
Finally, TRICARE Retired Reserve enrollees also need to pay copayments or cost shares for most medical services received. The copayments generally apply to the in-network providers you use, so these are flat fees regardless of the total cost of services. The cost-sharing applies to out-of-network providers usually and it could mean paying up to 25 percent of the total cost of services.
Before completing the process of how to apply for TRICARE plans of any type, make sure you know what your costs could be before you even enroll, and then, be sure to confirm whenever you book an appointment so you know whether or not that provider is in your network and what you might need to pay at your appointment.
How to Enroll in TRICARE Retired Reserve
Enrolling in TRICARE Retired Reserve starts with finding out whether or not you qualify for this particular health care plan. You will have to call, check online or visit an office in person depending on where you are located and what your current status is.
You will receive the TRICARE Retired Reserve enrollment form only after you can confirm your qualifications for this plan. You will have to complete it and either mail or fax it to the correct office based on your location and the regional contractor in charge of your area.
To enroll in TRICARE Retired Reserve, you will have to send not only that completed application form but also your first two months of enrollment fees or premium payments. You can submit those by the accepted payment methods and begin receiving your benefits once the enrollment process is completed. After that initial payment, you will need to set up recurring payments to ensure your coverage does not lapse. That can only be done through Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) or a recurring debit or credit card payment.
Find Out Other Important Details About TRICARE Retired Reserve
TRICARE Retired Reserve is only available within a certain timeframe or age range, so you must make sure you understand whether or not you qualify for this specific plan and also when it will end. Since you cannot enroll in the Retired Reserve plan indefinitely, you have to keep up-to-date on your own plan and on which plan you could switch to when the time comes. You will eventually age-out and have to change your coverage option, so it is wise to have an idea of other options before you actually have to make a final decision.
Download our free in-depth guide so you can learn everything you need to know about TRICARE Retired Reserve. You can also review our other detailed guides for TRICARE Prime, TRICARE Select and TRICARE For Life so you know which option you might switch to when you age out of Retired Reserve.