On this page:
- Understanding DEERS
- Registration in DEERS
- Verifying and Updating DEERS Information
- When to Use Other Health Insurance (OHI)
- TRICARE and Health Care Reform 2010
- Using the TRICARE Prime Option after Retirement
- Hot Topics, News Announcements
Understanding DEERS (the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System)
DEERS is a computerized database of military sponsors, families, and others worldwide. DEERS is not part of your health care entitlement, but a mechanism used by TRICARE to determine eligibility. DEERS registration is required for TRICARE eligibility.
Registration in DEERS
Active duty and retired service members are automatically registered in DEERS. They must, however, take action to register their eligible family members and ensure they are accurately entered into the DEERS database. Errors in the DEERS database can cause a delay in, or denial of, TRICARE claims. Therefore, it is critical to maintain accurate DEERS information. To register a family member, contact any uniformed service ID card center. Atlanta area sites are listed below.
Verifying and Updating DEERS Information
Beneficiaries may update their DEERS address, telephone number, and e-mail data in various ways:
- Visit the DEERS website, under DoD Community, Personnel Services. This is the quick and easy way to update your information. The best time to update is during non-peak hours.
- Visit a local personnel office that has a uniformed service ID card facility. These may be
found using the RAPIDS Site Locator. Atlanta area sites include:
Office of Commissioned Corps Personnel
Office of the Director, CDC
2400 Century Center Parkway
Atlanta GA 30345
(404) 498-1800 USA
Military Personnel Division
1322 Cobb Street, SW
Atlanta GA 30330
Army Reserve Center Decatur
2125th Garrison Support Unit
1650 Corey Blvd.
Decatur GA 30032
94th AW Dobbins ARB
94th A W MSS/DPMPS
1430 First Street
Building 838, Room1403
Marietta GA 30069
(678) 655-4880 USAR
Call ahead for hours of operation and for instructions, especially if you are updating a record for someone who is housebound.
- Contact DEERS at 1-800-538-9552 to change an address by phone.
- Mail the changed information to:
Defense Manpower Data Center Support Office (DSO)
400 Gigling Road
Seaside, CA 93955-6771.
Things to Keep in Mind
- Keep your DEERS records updated when personal eligibility information changes after registering in DEERS. Any changes affecting you or your family (e.g., marriage, birth, adoption, divorce, death, or retirement from active duty) need to be reported to DEERS so that eligibility can start or stop under DoD and uniformed service guidance.
- Make sure DEERS reflects your change from active duty to retiree status once you retire.
- Note that retail network pharmacies check TRICARE eligibility through DEERS. Prescriptions will be filled only for beneficiaries who are listed as eligible in DEERS.
- Update each family member's eligibility record separately when changes occur.
- Enter into DEERS any child over the age of 21 (if they are a full-time student), with his or her student status so TRICARE eligibility is not interrupted and access to health care is not lost. Full time students are eligible for TRICARE benefits until their 23rd birthday.
- Update members (you and members of your family) if you or they are Medicare-eligible, entitled to Part A and enrolled in Part B. DEERS must be updated to reflect MEDICARE Part A and B status to retain TRICARE coverage. When turning 65, the medical section of your military ID card may also need to be updated.
Updating Information other than Addresses
Beneficiaries will need to provide important pieces of documentation, such as
- Marriage, birth, or death certificates
- DD 214s or DD 1172s
Beneficiaries should contact the nearest RAPIDS ID site facility to find out what documents they need to enroll or update eligibility information in DEERS. The nearest RAPIDS ID site facility can be found by using the RAPIDS Site Locator. Once beneficiaries have the necessary documents, they can present them at the nearest ID card facility or send a letter or fax to the DSO at the address and number noted above. See Verifying and Updating DEERS Information.
Remember, TRICARE does not determine eligibility. All eligibility information is determined by uniformed services and recorded in DEERS. It is your responsibility to make sure personal information is correctly maintained and updated in DEERS in order to continue coverage with TRICARE benefits.
For questions regarding DEERS enrollment as well as health and dental care entitlements, please call:
Health Benefits Advisor
LCDR Leslie Leonard
When to Use Other Health Insurance (OHI)
Active duty commissioned officers are not authorized to mix and match your spouse's healthcare insurance and your healthcare entitlements through TRICARE. Below are some factors to consider when deciding if you should use other health insurance when trying to tailor your health care to meet individual needs.
- First and Foremost: If you use other health insurance and experience an untoward event that leads to a long hospitalization, renders you unfit for duty, or results in death, the Commissioned Corps could deny any benefits you would normally be entitled to. If you go to an unauthorized civilian provider, for an unauthorized service, and as a result became unfit for duty (thus depriving the USPHS of your services); your actions could be determined to be not in line of duty. That determination could have serious effects on your and your family's rights to any benefits from the USPHS in the aftermath (such as medical special pay, retirement annuity, health and dental care benefits, or even survivor benefits).
- OHI: Will your spouse's health insurance cover you knowing that TRICARE is always the first payer for active duty officers? TRICARE will not pay for any healthcare received through your spouse's healthcare insurance.
- Payment: For active duty personnel, TRICARE is always the first payer. TRICARE will not pay for any care that is not conducted by or through your Primary Care Manager (PCM). By using your spouse's insurance you essentially do not have a PCM. However, TRICARE will cover 100 percent of your care received through your TRICARE Prime/Prime Remote PCM via direct visit or a referral. Furthermore, TRICARE will not pay to fix a problem that was the result of services provided when using other health insurance.
- Cost of other health insurance: Placing you on your spouse's policy can increase your spouse's health care premium. TRICARE Prime entitles you to free routine healthcare via your Primary Care Manager (PCM) and free specialty health care via referral through your PCM — and there are no premiums.
- Waiting period on pre-existing conditions: While OHI may have pre-existing condition considerations, with TRICARE there are no pre-existing conditions.
- Deductible and cost sharing arrangements: Active duty service members are entitled to free health care; there are no out-of-pocket costs for care received through the TRICARE Prime network.
Although OHI is an enticing way to meet your individual needs, using OHI as an active duty officer of a uniformed service can result in severe consequences. If you have question or concerns regarding the use of other health insurance, please contact
Health Benefits Advisor
LCDR Leslie Leonard
TRICARE and Health Care Reform 2010
TRICARE coverage for dependents up to age 26
On March 23, 2010 U.S. President Barack Obama signed into law the Health Care Reform Bill 2010. This bill is comprehensive and will take some time to be fully implemented. All stakeholders will begin to take steps to implement the related parts of the bill as soon as possible. Due to some changes identified in the bill, whereas provisions are made for eligible dependents to remain on current health plans until the age of 26. To date, TRICARE is not affected by the health care reform provision for those dependents. TRICARE currently covers and will continue to provide healthcare coverage for eligible dependents up to the age of 21, or up to age 23 if enrolled full time at an accredited institution of higher education and reliant on the sponsor for more than 50 percent of their financial support. Please note, TRICARE coverage ends on the child's 23rd birthday or at the end of that school year, whichever comes first.
Department of Defense and TRICARE leadership is committed to providing the best possible health care plan and to keeping beneficiaries informed about any changes to the benefit. So, until more is known, the TRICARE benefit will remain as is.
Please stay informed on the latest information on TRICARE through its website at http://www.tricare.mil/
Using the TRICARE Prime Option after Retirement
When you are preparing to retire, plan ahead. If you are taking advantage of the TRICARE Prime option, remember that officers planning to use the TRICARE Prime option have a 60 day window to enroll making for a seamless transition.
You can enroll 30 days prior to retirement. If not before, then you must enroll 30 days post retirement in order for TRICARE Prime benefits to be effective on your retirement date.
If you enroll prior to retirement, Humana Military will hold your enrollment form and activate your prime benefit on the day of your retirement. If you enroll within 30 days post retirement, Humana Military will process your enrollment upon receipt and back date it to your initial day of retirement.
We recommend that you make an appointment with Aaron Arnold, DEERS Coordinator, CCPO, to get a retired Military ID Card and to update your DEERS record to reflect retired status about 1–2 weeks prior to your retirement date. It is also recommended that you make an appointment with LCDR Leslie Leonard, Health Benefits Advisor, CCPO, to review your benefits as a retired officer prior to retirement.
Hot Topics, News Announcements
The Audio Library (Humana Military) provides a toll-free telephone access audio library that is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Beneficiaries can access high quality health information on pertinent health topics by dialing 877-217-7946. Just a few of the many topics are outlined below:
- Children's health
- Men's health
- Women's health
- Common illnesses
- Common symptoms
An interactive voice response system will assist you in selecting a health education audio reference category. Once you select a category, you will be given a list of topics to choose from.
Invest some time in learning about your healthcare entitlements. Be assured it will be time well spent. This portion of the CCPO website is designed to provide helpful tips regarding your health care entitlements as active duty officers in one of the seven uniformed services.
TRICARE and their contractors offer comprehensive medical and dental coverage for you and your family. However, they are not without their limitations and idiosyncrasies afflicting any large healthcare system. We have a Health Benefits Advisor within our office to assist you. LCDR Leslie Leonard is your advocate and is committed to making sure you receive your healthcare entitlements in a timely and professional manner. Please contact LCDR Davis with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your (or your family's) health and dental care.
Visit the TRICARE Press Room on a monthly basis to learn of any changes, modifications, revisions, additions, deletions, or improvements that significantly impact your health care entitlements. For example, Humana Military has established a toll-free number specifically for TRICARE Prime Remote (TPR) beneficiaries: 1-800-249-9179. It offers 4 menu items:
- All Claims Questions
- Mental Health Issues
- Health Care Assistance
Selecting number 4 will put you in contact with a TRICARE Prime Remote representative for healthcare assistance.