TRICARE is the primary healthcare benefits program for members of the military community. It provides a variety of healthcare plans to active-duty and retired Uniformed Service members, active-duty and retired National Guard/Reserve members and their families, survivors, former spouses, Medal of Honor recipients and their families, and anyone registered in DEERS.
The three main coverage plans are TRICARE Prime, TRICARE Standard, and TRICARE Extra, and they essentially vary according to how much choice you wish to have in selecting healthcare providers and how much you wish to pay out of pocket. A qualifying servicemember (or “sponsor”) does not have to be enrolled in the same program as family members for those family members to be eligible for coverage.
There are also specific TRICARE options available to those not covered under the three main plans, which include National Guard/Reserve members who are not on active-duty and their families, adult children younger than 26 years old, and certain retired servicemembers and their families.