Pre-Activation Benefits

You may qualify for early eligibility for TRICARE 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. 

Health Care Options

Before You Deploy or Get to Your Final Duty Station

Do you live near a military hospital or clinic? This is within 50 miles or an hour's drive time.

  • You can enroll in TRICARE Prime at that military hospital or clinic with a military primary care manager (PCM).
  • If you need specialty, urgent or inpatient care, you must have a referral from your military PCM.
  • You can’t enroll in TRICARE Prime with a civilian PCM. 

Do you live in a remote location? This is more than 50 miles or an hour's drive time to a military hospital or clinic.

Not sure if you live near a military hospital or clinic? Search Online Now

When You Reach Your Final Duty Station

You'll enroll in a TRICARE Prime option at your final duty station:

Family Members

If your sponsor becomes eligible for active duty benefits, you too become eligible for TRICARE as an active duty family member. If you already have other health insuranceHealth insurance you have in addition to TRICARE, such as Medicare or an employer-sponsored health insurance. TRICARE supplements don’t qualify as "other health insurance.", you may continue to use this as your primary insurance or elect to use TRICARE. Learn more about how to coordinate other health insurance with TRICARE. 

During the pre-activation period, you may:

  • Continue to use your other health insurance
  • Use TRICARE Standard and Extra
  • Enroll in TRICARE Prime or TRICARE Prime Remote 
  • Get care at a military hospital or clinic, or with a civilian, authorized TRICARE provider

Whatever you decide to do, keep copies of your health care receipts and explanations of benefits for care received during the pre-activation period

Dental Options

Guard/Reserve Members

Family Members

Last Updated 8/29/2016

Email Updates Email Updates

Sign up for email updates about Guard/Reserve benefits.

Topics Icon Related Topics