When you join the military, one of the most valuable benefits you’ll receive is access to TRICARE, the military’s health care program.

There are TRICARE plans for just about every military family and situation. But as with any health benefit plan, it’s important to understand your options so you can take full advantage of the benefits available to you.

While Military OneSource does not provide health care services, it does offer non-medical counseling and information about health care services and benefits.


Each service branch determines who is eligible for TRICARE coverage. Generally, TRICARE is available to:

  • Uniformed service members and their families
  • National Guard/Reserve members and their families
  • Survivors
  • Former military spouses
  • Medal of Honor recipients and their families
  • Others registered in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System

There are also plans and temporary-coverage options available to transitioning and separating service members.

The easiest way to find out if you’re eligible is to check your information in DEERS, or by calling the Defense Manpower Data Center Support Office at 800-538-9552. You should always make sure you and your family members’ information stays up to date in DEERS. Enrollment in DEERS does not mean you are enrolled in TRICARE.

Types of TRICARE plans

With the TRICARE changes that took effect Jan. 1, 2018, TRICARE continues to offer several health plans. Plan availability still depends on who you are and where you live. Basic coverage is no longer automatic when you retire from the service.

The TRICARE website can help you select the plan that’s right for you. You can even compare plans side by side. All plans meet or exceed the requirements for minimum essential coverage.

TRICARE also offers special programs, including:

Some of these programs are separate from TRICARE’s medical coverage and are based on factors such as your status with the armed forces. See the TRICARE website for more information.

Military OneSource health and wellness coaches

Military OneSource health and wellness coaches can help you lose weight, eat better, get in shape, manage stress, tackle transitions and more.

Call 800-342-9647 or view overseas calling options to sign up for health and wellness coaching sessions. You can choose from three Health and Wellness Coaching session options: phone, online chat and video.