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Learn About TRICARE Select

TRICARE Standard is now known as Select. The TRICARE Select program is one of the many TRICARE healthcare plans available to qualified uniformed service members and their eligible family members. Note that the Standard, or Select, plan is not an option for active duty service members. Those active duty service members should review the TRICARE Prime options instead. However, active duty family members can still choose to enroll in the Select version of TRICARE.

TRICARE Standard coverage is available only within the United States, so you will want additional travel insurance or other overseas coverage if you are traveling or living overseas. You can also review the TRICARE Select Overseas option in case that fits your needs. TRICARE Standard providers in the U.S. can offer a fee-for-service care option that might be good as a supplemental health care plan.

What is TRICARE Select?

TRICARE Select, formerly the Standard or Extra plan, offers qualified service members and their eligible family members a health care option that can supplement another plan or that can fill a gap where individuals otherwise might not have coverage. The Select plan allows members to pay just for the services they need, but applicants should beware the higher costs if they or anyone in their family might need more extensive health care coverage throughout the year.

Note that the TRICARE Standard benefits, now under the Select program, do provide the Minimum Essential Coverage that is required under the Affordable Care Act (also known as the ACA or Obamacare). As with many plans, however, TRICARE select dental is not covered and so dental coverage would need to be purchased separately. TRICARE offers three different dental plan options based on current status and needs. Otherwise, the Select plan is good if for those who do not want to deal with referrals for specialist care or if who want to keep their current provider even if the provider is not within the TRICARE network.

How to Enroll in TRICARE Select

Eligibility for TRICARE Select is similar to other plans under the TRICARE umbrella, with one major factor to consider. For TRICARE Select, no active duty service members may enroll. Those active duty service members are required to enroll in TRICARE Prime instead so be sure to review those details instead of the Select program.

The TRICARE Select phone number and mailing address for enrollment can be found in our free guide. For TRICARE Select, the following applicants may be eligible to enroll:

  • Active duty family members
  • Retired service members and their families
  • Family members of activated Guard/Reserve members
  • Non-activated Guard/Reserve members and their families who qualify for care under the Transitional Assistance Management Program
  • Retired Guard/Reserve members at 60 years of age and their families
  • Survivors
  • Medal of Honor recipients and their families
  • Qualified former spouses

Find Out About TRICARE Select Benefits

For TRICARE Select benefits, you will pay a cost share or copayment at the time that you receive any medical services. This TRICARE Select copay will vary and will increase if you use a provider who is not in the network of authorized providers according to TRICARE.

When using your TRICARE Select coverage, you will have to show both your enrollment card and your military ID card. You can only access your enrollment card on your online profile once your enrollment is complete.

Also, remember that you should search for and use in-network providers in your area whenever possible in order to lower your costs and to minimize your paperwork. If you receive services from a provider outside of the network, then you will have to file your own claim in order to be reimbursed for any potentially qualifying costs. You will also likely have to pay for those services in full up front, so be prepared for those larger payments.

How much does TRICARE Select cost?

The TRICARE Select cost breakdown will vary based on your specific details of service or of your sponsor’s details if you are a beneficiary. TRICARE Standard costs have evolved into the new Select program, so the group that you fit into will determine whether or not you need to pay enrollment fees. The groups are divided according to when you first joined the service, with Group A being exempt from enrollment fees while Group B needs to pay them on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis. Those enrollment fees are hundreds of dollars for an individual and twice that for a family, so you want to make sure you are prepared for these costs when enrolling in the Select plan.

The TRICARE Standard deductible, now known as the TRICARE Select deductible, will apply to all enrollees as an annual outpatient deductible. Since this plan is a pay-for-service style plan, your costs can be higher if you need a wider range of services since you pay a cost share for any services actually rendered. That is why this plan is good for supplementing another health care plan you might have or as an option in more remote areas if you otherwise would not have coverage.

What is TRICARE Select Overseas?

TRICARE Select Overseas is an option for service members and their families residing outside of the United States. Applicants may want to consider additional health care coverage on top of the Select Overseas option.

As with the domestic version, you can use network or out-of-network providers and pay for the services you require. The application for enrollment is submitted only by phone or mail, and you must coordinate with the global services of International SOS in order to enroll in the Overseas plan option.

Understanding the limitations of this plan and how the costs might affect you is vital. Download our free in-depth guide for more information.