TRICARE Reform: Changes Will Arrive Soon and What You Need to Know to Prepare

November 16, 2017

Administrative and structural changes to the TRICARE program will accelerate in the very near future, and will affect most beneficiaries except those using TRICARE for Life. For those beneficiaries who are under age 65, to include active duty family members, it is time to listen up and take the required action if you need to.

Some of these changes are happening simultaneously, which adds to the complexities of this large scale system transformation. There are key system transitions which necessitate modified technology adjustments to beneficiary data in the DEERS system - commonly called file transfers and new identifiers changing TRICARE Standard to the new TRICARE Select. In addition, the three current TRICARE Regions will be reduced to two, and the TRICARE contractors will be changing in both the East and West regions.

If you want to make changes to your TRICARE coverage, TRICARE officials are urging beneficiaries to do so as soon as possible.

What you need to know:

  • Beginning December 1, DoD will “freeze” enrollment files as they will be transferred to the new TRICARE contractors and revise the plan options (Standard to Select) in the DEERS system.  
  • Beneficiaries can still send enrollment forms to the contractors and they will be processed in DEERS when the file transfer is complete. This will take 3 weeks.  
  • By November 20, 2017, beneficiaries should complete any and all enrollment actions.  Beneficiaries will not be able to use the Beneficiary Web Enrollment website to enroll in or dis-enroll from TRICARE Prime options. Additionally, beneficiaries will not be able to use the web enrollment to enroll in TRICARE Young Adult or TRICARE dental options while this website is unavailable.    
  • Regional contractors will accept enrollment applications through other channels, for example by phone and mail.  The contractors will be able to process these enrollments after the freeze is complete.  
  • This will not affect any care you receive during the enrollment freeze. Remember to keep any and all receipts for purchased care.  
  • Remember, keep your DEERS information up to date as beneficiaries must be registered in DEERS to enroll in TRICARE Prime or a Prime option online, by phone or by mail.

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