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Q&A: Moving and Your TRICARE Coverage

Image of Q&A: Moving and Your TRICARE Coverage. When you move, it’s important to make sure your TRICARE coverage is ready to move with you. Updating your information in DEERS and with your regional contractor are important parts of the moving process. By being proactive, you can ensure that you and your family have access to the care you need in your new location. (U.S. Army photo by Fort Jackson Public Affairs Office)

FALLS CHURCH, Va. – As summer approaches and permanent change of station (PCS) season kicks into high gear, many military families find themselves preparing to move to a new duty location. Amid all the packing and planning, it’s important to make sure your TRICARE coverage is ready to move with you.

“Moving is a TRICARE Qualifying Life Event,” said Shane Pham, an analyst with TRICARE Policy and Programs at the Defense Health Agency. “This means that your family members may be able to enroll in or change their TRICARE plans.”

A QLE opens a 90-day period for you and your family to make eligible enrollment changes, as described in the TRICARE Qualifying Life Events Fact Sheet. This means you have 90 days from the date of your move to change your plan. You must change your address in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS).

Here are answers to common questions about TRICARE and moving.

Q: I’m planning to move soon. What do I need to do to maintain my TRICARE coverage?

A: After you move, the first step is to update your information in DEERS. You’ll need to provide your new address. Your address determines whether or not you live in a Prime Service Area. You should also make sure your phone number and email address are up to date, too. This ensures you receive important notifications from TRICARE about your coverage.

If you don’t update DEERS after you move, you may have problems getting care. In some cases, you may be disenrolled from your TRICARE plan if your address isn’t up to date in DEERS.

Tip: Don’t disenroll from your current TRICARE plan before you move. Your current plan will cover you on your way to your new location.

Q: How do I update my information in DEERS?

A: You can update your contact information in DEERS online via milConnect, by phone, or by visiting a local ID card office.

Q: Do I need to do anything else after I move?

A: Yes. You should call your regional contractor to update your address.

Your next steps are based on your beneficiary status and TRICARE plan.

If you have TRICARE Prime and your new location is in a Prime Service Area, you’ll need to choose a new primary care manager (PCM) after you move. Your PCM is the doctor or other health care professional who provides your routine care and referrals. You can choose a new PCM by calling your regional contractor or using the online portal on their website. TRICARE Prime isn’t available everywhere. You may have different health plan options when you move. Check the Plan Finder to learn more.

If you have TRICARE Select, you don’t need to choose a PCM. You can use the Find a Doctor tool to search for TRICARE-authorized providers near you. Remember, you’ll pay less out of pocket if you get care from TRICARE network provider.

Check out Moving to learn more about what you need to do when you move based on your TRICARE plan.

Q: I have prescriptions. What should I do about my prescriptions when I move?

A: It’s a good idea to fill any prescriptions you need before you move. This can help you avoid running out of medication during the transition. Once you’re settled in your new home, you can transfer your prescriptions to a new pharmacy. You can do this by contacting your new pharmacy and providing them with your prescription information, or by asking your current pharmacy to transfer your prescriptions to the new location.

You can also transfer your prescriptions from a retail pharmacy to TRICARE Pharmacy Home Delivery. If you already use TRICARE Pharmacy Home Delivery, be sure to update your shipping address with the TRICARE Pharmacy Program contractor, Express Scripts.

For more information on managing your prescriptions, visit TRICARE Pharmacy Program.

Remember that updating your information in DEERS and taking steps to maintain your TRICARE coverage are important parts of the moving process. By being proactive, you can ensure that you and your family have access to the care you need in your new location. If you have any questions or need help, you can contact your regional contractor or visit the TRICARE website for more information.

Would you like the latest TRICARE news sent to you by email? Visit TRICARE Subscriptions, and create your personalized profile to get benefit updates, news, and more.

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Last Updated: May 28, 2024
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