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Information for TRICARE Providers

Being a TRICARE provider means that you're treating America's heroes – the people making sacrifices to keep America strong and safe. On behalf of the Department of Defense, the men and women of our Armed Forces and their families, as well as our retired families, we want to thank you for your desire to become a TRICARE provider. Becoming a TRICARE provider brings with it a higher volume of patients as network providers are placed on the worldwide referral list for all TRICARE beneficiaries.

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Managed Care Support Contractors

Each TRICARE region has its own managed care support contractor (MCSC) who is responsible for administering the TRICARE program in each region. The MCSCs establish the provider networks and conduct provider education.

If you're already a TRICARE-authorized provider or if you want to become a TRICARE-authorized provider, call your MCSC or visit the website, listed below. 

Region  MCSC

TRICARE Provider Types

TRICARE defines a provider as a person, business, or institution that provides health care. Understanding the different TRICARE provider types will help you decide what type of TRICARE provider you want to be. At a minimum, all TRICARE providers must be authorized/certified under TRICARE Regulation and must have their authorization/certification status verified by the managed care support contractors (MCSCs) in each region. 

There are two types of TRICARE-authorized providers: Network and Non-Network Providers

Network Providers

If you decide to become a network provider, you will sign a contractual agreement with the MCSC in your region. You will:

  • Agree to provide care to TRICARE beneficiaries at a negotiated rate.
  • Accept the beneficiaries' copayment or cost share as payment in full.
  • File claims with TRICARE for the remaining amount.

Non-Network Providers 

If you don't want to sign a contract, you can be a non-network provider, but you must be certified by the MCSC. As a non-network provider you can decide to be a "participating provider" or a "non-participating provider."

  • Participating providers agree to file claims for beneficiaries, to accept payment directly from TRICARE and to accept the TRICARE allowable charge as payment in full for their services.
  • Non-participating providers do not agree to accept the TRICARE allowable charge or file beneficiary claims.

Non-network providers can choose to participate on a claim-by-claim basis. You don't have to be participating or non-participating all of the time.

Uniformed Service ID Cards

All eligible TRICARE beneficiaries will have an ID card that they will show you when they visit your office. That card contains a Social Security Number (SSN) or DoD Identification Number and a unique DoD Benefits Number (DBN).

Image of the TRICARE ID card showing the DoD Benefits number

Removal of SSN from ID Cards

To protect the privacy and personal identity of beneficiaries, the DoD is removing SSNs from all ID cards. Instead a DoD Identifcation Number and DBN will be printed on the card.

The removal of SSNs from ID cards is expected to last for several years as cards are being replaced as they are renewed. During this transition, you can verify eligibility and process claims using the SSN or the DBN.

The DBN is composed of a unique family identifier number connected to the sponsor, a dash, and then a unique two digit family member identifier number unique to each family member. The number will be printed on the back of the beneficiary’s ID card above the bar code.

Ask a beneficiary to provide his or her sponsor's SSN verbally or in writing as required by your office protocol.

Download the flyer for your region or contact your regional contractor for more information about the removal of SSNs or if you need guidance about verifying eligibility or filing claims.

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

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