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Spouse Medical Benefits - TRICARE

The military provides medical services and benefits to anyone dependent on a currently serving member of the military. However, medical plans vary depending on the current status of the member. TRICARE is a regionally managed health care program for Active Duty, Activated Guard and Reserve, Retired members of the uniformed services, their families, and survivors. TRICARE teams up the health care resources from different branches of the military with civilian health care professionals to provide easy access and quality care for those who qualify.

Current military spouses of military members are eligible to recieve medical and dental care services through TRICARE. Former and widowed spouses may also be eligible depending on a few factors: duration of the marriage, the military member's time in the service and member's cause of death.

There are three types of TRICARE package options: Prime, Extra or Standard. TRICARE Prime covers all expenses for those currently serving and their families, while the Extra and Standard packages require different forms of copayment. Packages for retired members all have varied copayment qualifications. Members of the military are automatically enrolled into this program, but are required to enroll additional members family members, such as a spouse, for coverage through the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS). Contact your regional TRICARE managed care support contractor, your local TRICARE service center or the nearest uniformed services personnel office.

Once registered through DEERS, the spouse of someone currently serving in the military will have all basic medical expenses covered through TRICARE. Registering for dental care is a separate process and is only partially covered. Remember, in the event of a change of address, notify the DEERS and TRICARE organizations to ensure that you're never left without the coverage you need.

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