Let’s start this post by thanking all you service men and women out there for your service. We hope our posts can help service members navigate the benefits they deserve from Tricare and specifically Tricare Reserve Select.
It’s wonderful to have our assisted living homes in the community surrounding Luke Air Force Base in Western Phoenix, AZ. The base provides great services for our veterans and retirees in the area. We meet with a lot of families who are confused about the benefits they deserve. So we thought we would help.
Tricare is the medical insurance program that covers nearly all active duty, reserve, National Guard and Retired military members. This post will cover one component of Tricare – Tricare Reserve Select. Specifically we want to cover the criteria you will need to know to take advantage of Tricare Reserve Select..
Tricare Reserve Select Financial Cost
- Tricare Reserve Select requires you pay a monthly premium. As of 2019 the premiums will be:
- Member only $42.83
- Family $218.01
- In addition to the monthly premium, the Tricare Reserve Select program has a certain amount you will have to pay each year until you meet the ‘annual deductible’ amount (Hint: These deductible are much lower than most civilian employer plans):
- E4 and below: $50 per individual, but no more than $100 per family
- E5 and above: $150 per individual, but no more than $300 per family
- Once you hit the annual deductible, you will ‘cost share’ with Tricare Reserve Select. Most of the financial burden of cost sharing falls on the Tricare Reserve Select program and not on you. It’s crazy cheap for you! You can see the costs for everything here. These costs include:
- Specialty doctors
- Vision care
- Pharmacy and prescription drugs
- Catastrophic care
- Skilled nursing
- Mental health
- Preventative services
Many of these costs are $0 out of pocket!
What Tricare Reserve Select Covers
- Tricare Reserve Select provides medical benefits (doctor visits and procedures)
- Your regular doctor doesn’t have to refer you to a specialist if you want to see one, but you may need authorization from your regional contractor.
- Tricare Reserve Select does not cover your prescriptions. For prescriptions you will have to sign up for the Tricare Pharmacy Program (TPP).
- Tricare Reserve Select does not cover your dental health. For dental you need to enroll in the Tricare Dental Program (TDP)
- Tricare Reserve Select covers any kind of eyecare problems you or your family may have. You can learn more about the vision benefits here.
How You Pay for Tricare Reserve Select
- After you enroll, you will pay two months of premiums up front with a check, money order, cashier’s check or debit/credit card
- Future premium payments must by paid via Electronic Funds Transfer or monthly debit/credit card charge.
- Payments come out on the first day of the month while you are covered.
- There are different options for payment depending on the region where you live:
- You may be charged $20 for a payment that doesn’t go through due to insufficient funds.
Are You Eligible for Tricare Reserve Select?
- It only covers members of the Selected Reserve.
The Selected Reserve are members of the Ready Reserve. The Ready Reserve consists of:
- The Selected Reserve – People attached to a Reserve or Guard unit but not in active duty status. In other words ‘Weekend Warriors’ who come to drill and do their two weeks each year.
- Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) – Former active duty or reserve military personnel who don’t actively participate in military operations but may be called up if needed.
- Ready Reserve for the Army – Similar to the IRR, but only currently for US Army enlisted personnel
Tricare Reserve Select will not cover people in the IRR or Army Enlisted in the Ready Reserve.
- To be eligible, you can’t be on active duty orders (then you receive the normal Tricare benefits)
- You also can’t be covered by the Transitional Assistance Management Program
- Or if you’re enrolled in the Federal Employee Health Benefits (FEHB) program you can’t double dip.
- You must be enrolled in DEERS in order to be eligible for any Tricare program. Service members are automatically enrolled in DEERS, but the service person has to enroll their family. Want to know how to enroll your family? Click here.
How to Enroll in Tricare Reserve Select
- You can enroll either by phone or online. Visit the enrollment page to enroll online.
- If you don’t qualify, you won’t be able to print the form on the enrollment page. If you think you should be eligible, contact your local National Guard or Reserve office. For technical problems with the website call 1-800-477-8227.
- If you are overseas, you can also enroll by submitting an application to a Tricare Service Center.
- Tricare Reserve Select is available for reservists worldwide.
- You can request an appointment at a military hospital or clinic on a space available basis
- If you sign up for a Military.com membership, you can have the latest changes to Tricare Reserve Select emailed to you.
- Tricare Reserve Select meets the minimum requirements to comply with the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)
- You can still use Tricare Reserve select for 180 days after you leave the Selected Reserves even if you separated under a less than ‘honorable’ or ‘general’ discharge. Check with your service personnel office for more details.
- If you want to stop your Tricare Reserve Select coverage, just go to the web page for ending coverage.
I tried to put all aspects of Tricare Reserve Select that I could find for you. As a retired Air Force guy myself (see my story here) and assisted living homeowner, I realize how important health care is for veterans.
If you have any questions on Tricare or other medical plans, please feel free to reach out to someone at our assisted living homes. You can reach out to us via our website, Email us at Cam@aparadiseforparents.com, or call our central number – 623-295-9890.