Using TRICARE For Life Overseas

Using TRICARE For Life Overseas
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Summer brings lots of exciting opportunities for travel. But what happens when an unexpected accident occurs while you are enjoying your vacation overseas?


Prior planning for an emergency allows you to focus on fun rather than the uncertainty surrounding foreign health care. These tips will help you better understand your TRICARE For Life and Medicare coverage ... and provide some peace of mind for your travels.


Coverage 101

For those enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B traveling in the U.S. or its territories, Medicare remains your primary payer and TRICARE For Life still acts a wraparound Medicare supplement.


However, when you travel overseas, Medicare does not provide any coverage. TRICARE becomes your primary payer in medical emergencies.


[MEMBER EXCLUSIVE: Transitioning Into Medicare and TRICARE For Life]

What It Will Cost

When TRICARE becomes primary, you’ll be responsible for paying TRICARE’s annual deductible and cost shares. The 2024 deductible is $150 per individual per year, no more than $300 per family. Overseas, the cost share for beneficiaries is 25% of the TRICARE allowed amount.


The 2024 catastrophic cap for TRICARE For Life is $3,000; that’s the most you should pay out of pocket for any covered care.


How It Works

You may generally seek care from any overseas civilian provider without a referral. However, services such as nonemergency inpatient admissions for substance use and mental health care do require prior authorization or a referral.




You can get care at a military hospital or clinic overseas, if space is available. You can also use the Overseas Provider Directory to find a network provider, although some countries may have few (or no) network providers.


Although many areas of the world have less-expensive health care than the U.S., there is no limit on the amount that non-network providers can charge overseas. In addition to the deductible and cost shares, you’ll be responsible for any amount that exceeds the TRICARE-allowable charge, and that amount won’t apply toward the catastrophic cap.


If you see a civilian provider, be prepared to pay up front. Ask for an itemized bill and keep the receipt/invoice. You’ll have to submit the receipt and file a claim with the TRICARE Overseas Program regional contractor, International SOS, to be reimbursed.


You’ll have to file with the claims processor for the overseas areas where you got care within three years of the date of service.




If you travel to the Philippines, you must get care from a Preferred Provider or Certified Provider. In the case of emergent/urgent care, beneficiaries should go to the nearest emergency facility for care, but should contact Global 24 Network Services, a subcontractor of International SOS, before leaving the facility, preferably within 24 hours.


If you have questions about coverage or finding care, you can contact the International SOS contractor for the region where you are traveling.


Overseas Claims Contacts

Full contact information for International SOS is available at this link. Some regional resources:


TRICARE Eurasia-Africa (Africa, Europe, Middle East)


TRICARE Latin America and Canada


TRICARE Pacific-Singapore


    TRICARE Pacific-Sydney

    Medical Evacuation

    What if you’re on a cruise, or on safari, or in some other remote location and have an emergency that requires an air evacuation? TRICARE does cover air evacuation if:

    • A regular ambulance can’t get to you.
    • You are far from the nearest facility.
    • You can’t get care at the nearest facility.
    • You must be seen quickly.


    It’s important to note TRICARE will only get you to the closest facility where you can receive care. This does NOT mean TRICARE will evacuate you to the U.S.


    Before Your Trip

    Make sure all routine medical visits are completed before your trip and you have all necessary prescriptions for the length of your journey.


    If you are concerned about medical evacuation or having to pay up front for health care costs, consider purchasing travel health insurance, either for the trip or as an annual policy. Some credit cards may also carry medevac coverage. Those with pre-existing conditions may need to purchase insurance by a certain number of days after their first trip payment to have those conditions covered by the policy.


    Stil have questions? MOAA Premium and Life members have exclusive access to our subject-matter experts on staff. If you are not a member but are interested in joining, you can find additional information at this link.


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    About the Author

    Lila Quintiliani, ChFC®, AFC®
    Lila Quintiliani, ChFC®, AFC®

    Quintiliani is MOAA's Program Director, Financial and Benefits Education/Counseling. She is a former Army Military Intelligence Officer as well as the spouse of an active-duty servicemember, and worked for over a decade at military installations as a personal financial counselor.