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TRICARE 101

TRICARE 101 helps beneficiaries get familiar with TRICARE terms, options, plans, and more. Whether new to TRICARE or already a TRICARE plan enrollee, learning the basics can help beneficiaries make informed choices and take command of their health. 

Want to review all options? Use TRICARE Tools online. 

TRICARE 101 includes information to help beneficiaries understand plan choices and the differences between plans. After a QLE, they may be eligible to chose between TRICARE PrimeA managed care option available in Prime Service Areas in the United States; you have an assigned primary care manager who provides most of your care.TRICARE Prime and TRICARE SelectTRICARE Select is a self-managed, preferred provider network plan. TRICARE Select is a fee-for-service option in the United States that allows you to get care from any TRICARE-authorized provider.  Enrollment is required to participate.TRICARE Select. This chart explains how they differ. 

TRICARE Prime TRICARE Select
 A health maintenance organization (or HMO)-style plan available when living in a stateside Prime Service Area A preferred provider organization (or PPO)-style plan available when living anywhere stateside
Get most of your care coordinated through your primary care manager Manage your own health care and choose your own TRICARE-authorized providers
Referrals required for specialty care and certain other services Referral not required for most services 
Pre-authorization for some services Pre-authorization for some services
No deductible applies. Copayments apply for beneficiaries, except active duty service members and their family members Deductible, copayments, and cost-shares apply

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Last Updated: March 10, 2022

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