Pre-Activation Benefits

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.

Family Members

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.  

Dental Options

Last Updated 5/8/2014

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