2018 TRICARE Changes

The Military Health System is modernizing TRICARE to better serve you and respond to changes in law and policy. 

On Jan. 1, 2018, there will be several changes to your TRICARE benefit. We’ve outlined a few of the changes you’ll notice in 2018 below:

TRICARE Select Replaces TRICARE Standard And TRICARE Extra 

On Jan. 1, 2018, a new program called TRICARE Select will replace TRICARE Standard and TRICARE Extra. TRICARE Prime will remain the same. TRICARE Standard beneficiaries who remain eligible as of Dec. 31, 2017 will automatically transition to TRICARE Select on Jan. 1, 2018 and will remain in the plan unless they choose to change their coverage.

In the U.S., TRICARE Select will be a self-managed, preferred provider network option. Once enrolled, TRICARE Select beneficiaries will not be required to have a primary care manager and can visit any TRICARE-authorized provider for covered services without a referral. You can also receive services from TRICARE-authorized, non-network providers, but

you’ll pay higher cost-sharing amounts for this out-of-network care. Care received from non-authorized, non-network providers won’t be reimbursed by TRICARE. Overseas, TRICARE Overseas Program Select will provide access to both network and non-network TRICARE-authorized providers for medically-necessary covered services. TRICARE Select, both stateside and overseas, includes additional preventive care services previously only offered to TRICARE Prime beneficiaries.

Annual Enrollment For All Plans 

Currently, only TRICARE Prime beneficiaries are required to enroll. On Jan. 1, 2018, enrollment will be required for all TRICARE plans.

Throughout 2018, eligible beneficiaries may enroll or re-enroll for TRICARE Prime or TRICARE Select at any time. This applies to those who don’t enroll, or who disenroll from TRICARE Prime or TRICARE Select during calendar year 2018. If you’re enrolled in TRICARE Prime, TRICARE Prime Remote or another TRICARE Prime program on Dec. 31, 2017, you will remain in your program on Jan. 1, 2018, unless you choose to change your coverage. You may enroll online, by phone or by mail. Find details and forms online at www.tricare.mil/resources/forms/enrollment.

Transition From Fiscal Year To Calendar Year 

Consistent with civilian health care plans, all TRICARE plans will shift enrollment from a fiscal year (Oct. 1–Sept. 30) timing to a calendar year (Jan. 1–Dec. 31) timing. That means payments that would normally count toward yearly limits, such as catastrophic caps or deductibles, will be counted from Jan. 1–Dec. 31 instead of Oct. 1–Sept. 30.

As part of the transition from a fiscal year to calendar year, you will not have any additional out-of-pocket costs for authorized TRICARE covered services for the last three months of calendar year 2017 (Oct. 1–Dec. 31), if you have already reached your catastrophic cap in 2017.

Take Command – TRICARE Prime vs TRICARE Select