FALLS CHURCH, Virginia –
For military families, summer can be a time of big changes due to permanent change of station, or PCS, season. When moving, it helps to make a list of items you want to pack up and move with you. Fortunately, you don’t have to worry about losing your TRICARE coverage during your move.
“When you move, your TRICARE benefits move with you,” said Jeremy Schneider, a management analyst with TRICARE Policy and Programs at the Defense Health Agency. “You may have to change your plan, provider, and pharmacy if you move to a new area, but your medical, dental, and pharmacy coverage remain unchanged throughout your relocation.”
Here are some tips on how to make a smooth transition with your TRICARE benefits this PCS season.
1. Understand your health plan options and how to make changes
You shouldn’t disenroll from your current TRICARE health plan before moving. After you’ve moved, your plan options may change. As outlined in the TRICARE Qualifying Life Events Fact Sheet, your PCS counts as a Qualifying Life Event (QLE). You have 90 days from the date of your address change to change your TRICARE health plan.
Your health plan options for your new location depend on your status and where you move:
Check the TRICARE Plan Finder or review the TRICARE Plans Overview Fact Sheet to learn about TRICARE health plans. Compare costs to learn how the plans’ costs differ.
If you’re changing TRICARE regions, you can transfer your enrollment online, by mail, or by phone after you move. If you need help completing your transfer, call the TRICARE contractor for your new region.
Once you’re at your new location, you may need to find a new primary care manager or health care provider. Use the Find a Doctor tool, or go to your TRICARE contractor’s online provider directory to start a search.
2. Choose the right pharmacy for your new location
Wherever you’re moving, you can move your prescriptions with you. You can get your prescriptions filled at the nearest military pharmacy or TRICARE retail network pharmacy. You can also transfer eligible prescriptions to TRICARE Pharmacy Home Delivery. Outside the U.S. and U.S. territories, you can only use home delivery if you have an APO/FPO/DPO address, or you’re assigned to a U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Home delivery isn’t an option in Germany.
Before moving, remember to fill your prescriptions to ensure you have enough medication to last throughout your move and immediately after you arrive at your new location. Visit Pharmacy to learn more.
3. Find a TRICARE Dental Program dentist
If you have dental coverage through the TRICARE Dental Program (TDP), your coverage remains in place. After you’ve moved, use the Find a Dentist tool to find a new dentist near you. You can also call the TDP contractor, United Concordia, for help and to share your new address and contact information. If you’re an eligible ADFM with no dental coverage, you can enroll in TDP at any time. Remember that TDP is separate from your health plan, so you must enroll separately for dental coverage.
If you have dental coverage through the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program, reach out to your dental plan provider for guidance.
4. Update your information in DEERS
After you move, update your family’s information, like your new address and contact info, in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS). Any changes you make to your health plan will go into effect after your address change shows in DEERS. Remember, DEERS doesn’t transfer your TRICARE enrollment.
5. Get routine health services before you move
Treat this PCS as an opportunity to catch up on getting your routine health care, if needed. Before you move, be sure to discuss any ongoing health issues with your current primary care manager, family doctor, or specialist. You should also schedule routine physicals and immunizations. If you have any civilian medical or dental providers, be sure to ask for copies of your records to take with you. Talk to your TRICARE contractor for more information on requesting and transferring records.
Knowing how to prepare your TRICARE coverage to move with you will help you and your family have a smooth PCS. Visit TRICARE Moving for more information, including how to prepare based on your current TRICARE plan.
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