You may qualify for early TRICARE eligibilty if you're issued:
- Delayed-effective-date active duty orders
- For more than 30 days
- In support of a contingency operation
Eligibility begins on the date your orders are issued or 180 days before you report to active duty, whichever is later. During this "pre-activation" period, you qualify for the same benefits as you have when you're activated.
Health Care Options
National Guard/Reserve Members
You'll enroll in a TRICARE Prime option at your final duty station:
- TRICARE Prime
- TRICARE Prime Remote
- TRICARE Prime Overseas
- TRICARE Prime Remote Overseas
If you need any specialty, urgent or inpatient care before you’re enrolled, try to get care at a military hospital or clinic first. If care isn't available at a military hospital or clinic and you’re referred to a TRICARE network provider, you need authorization from your regional contractor.
Not sure which region you’re in? Visit the TRICARE Regions page to find out.
We don't recommend enrolling in a Prime option during the pre-activation period, especially if you already have another primary insurance plan. Instead, wait until the sponsor is on active duty to ensure there's no break in coverage.
During the pre-activation period, you should:
- Continue to use your other health insurance (i.e., employer-sponsored), if you have it
- Use TRICARE Standard and Extra
- Get care at a military hospital or clinic
Whatever you decide to do, keep copies of your health care receipts and explanations of benefits for care received during the pre-activation period.