Back to School

It's that time again, "back to school" time! Parents and children are gearing up for another exciting year with mixed emotions. Some of you may be excited and others may be nervous, but one thing is certain, TRICARE has you covered. From back to school physicals, immunizations and dental care, make sure you take the time now to get health-ready for school.

School Physicals & Immunizations

It's a good idea to get a physical and immunizations completed before school starts. Most schools require that your child's immunizations are up-to-date. Be sure to check with your school districts rules and requirements.

TRICARE covers school physicals for children age 5-11 and age-appropriate doses of vaccines as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). You can get required vaccines from any TRICARE-authorized provider and many are also available at participating retail network pharmacies. >>Learn More

Vision & Dental Check-Ups

In addition to school physicals and immunizations, it's a good idea to get eye exams and dental check ups before school begins. Children of active duty service members are eligible for annual eye exams. TRICARE Prime-enrolled children of retired service members are eligible for comprehensive eye exams every two years. >>Learn More

TRICARE offers dental coverage through two plans for children, the TRICARE Dental Program and the TRICARE Retiree Dental Program. If enrolled, schedule an appointment for a check-up and cleaning before school starts. If not enrolled, you can enroll your children at any time.

Preparing for First Week Jitters

Some children are excited to get back to school with their friends, but for others, it could be overwhelming. Many children may be nervous or scared about meeting new friends and teachers. Others may be heading to a new school because they are entering a new grade or because they have moved. It's important to watch for signs to make sure kids are adjusting. Usually, these feelings subside quickly as kids get involved in school, but remember that TRICARE covers mental health services for kids and families who may need some extra help adjusting. >>Learn More

Make Healthy Choices Daily

Parents can help children make healthy choices each day:

  • Sign up for an individual or team sport, dance or some other activity to keep active. Check out resources in your local community.
  • Get a full night's sleep. Kids need more than you think. >>Learn More
  • Eat a healthy breakfast and lunch to get through the day.
    • Many schools offer breakfast options if you can't make breakfast at home. Check with your school's website for details.
    • Review your school's meal calendar or pack a healthy lunch with fresh fruits and vegetables.

Going to College

For older children who are going to college, there are new decisions to make. Children are eligible for regular TRICARE benefits while enrolled in college until their 23rd birthday or until they graduate, whichever comes first. After that, children may qualify to purchase TRICARE Young Adult. Your child's 'student status' must be entered in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) to remain eligible past age 21. Check with DEERS to see what information is needed.

Health care options for college students depend on where their school is located. >>Learn More

Last Updated 7/24/2014