Tricare Military Insurance: 6 Surprising Facts New Spouses Desperately Need
One challenge of becoming a new spouse is that your Tricare military insurance can be somewhat of a mystery. It took me longer than I’d like to admit to learn some really helpful things about the way Tricare works.
I’ve decided to share a few surprising facts about Tricare Military Insurance that will likely come in handy for you, especially if you’re a new spouse. Finally learning these has saved me money, time, agony, and my mental sanity… ha!
- Tricare consists of three separate regions: North, South and West. Each is run by a different company. You have to re-enroll if you want to stay Prime when you move because the companies do not share info. And yes, you also have to start over and wait for referrals from your new doctor after you PCS.
- Your military ID is your insurance ID card. This can be confusing at first when a provider asks for your insurance card. And, since dependent cards don’t have your sponsor’s social security number anymore (your sponsor is your spouse), you’ll need to know their social too. Three cheers to Tricare for not giving us an extra card to carry around and keep track of!
- Tricare military insurance does not cover dental. They contract that out with MetLife and you have to enroll separately, but it’s great coverage. I learned this the hard way after I first got married when I went to an appointment that was not covered. Ahhhh! Not fun to pay out of pocket. Make sure to enroll here.
- You can call and talk to a Tricare Representative… and they are very nice! I don’t know why I got it in my head at first that it was drudgery to call. Not like it’s a blast to work out insurance claims. But the reps at Tricare are helpful, knowledgeable, and friendly. Score. You can call ask about your coverage, to get information on claims, or whatever issue you need help with. Kind of shocking!
- You can have a three-way phone call with Tricare and your provider’s business office to straighten out your claims. I learned this while trying to straighten out a recent fertility bill. I was trying to communicate back and forth between my doctor’s office and Tricare, when the rep suggested we do a three-way call. It worked out well and we all got on the same page. Sometimes it’s necessary to take out the middle man (me and you) and let the two companies talk to each other directly.
- They’ll refer you out to (and cover) physical therapy but they won’t to a chiropractor. I discovered this due to some back issues I had when hubby and i were dating. I went to a chiropractor regularly, and after we got married, I spent the first couple of years just paying out of pocket for a chiropractor like I had before. When we PCS’d to Washington and I saw a new provider, she mentioned that she could refer me to physical therapy. I was all for trying it, especially since it was covered! Physical therapy worked really well for me and saved me money. So, if some treatment you need isn’t approved, be sure to ask if there is an alternate form of care that Tricare will cover.