TRICARE Young Adult Now Available
Military families concerned about making sure their new college graduate has health insurance while looking for that first job with benefits now can take advantage of the long-awaited TRICARE Young Adult Program (TYA). Enrollment is now open for the program, which allows adult children of eligible TRICARE beneficiaries to purchase TRICARE coverage up to the age of 26.
Initially, TYA will be offered as a TRICARE Standard option only. By law, there can be no government subsidy for TYA; DoD must charge the full cost of the health care benefit. DoD set TYA Standard premiums for 2011 at $186 per month. Beneficiary out-of-pocket costs will depend on whether they use providers in the TRICARE network, as well as the status of the young adult’s military sponsor. DoD plans on rolling out a TYA Prime option this fall and has proposed TYA Prime premiums at $213 per month.
Eligible beneficiaries must be at least 21 and under the age of 26, unmarried, and unable to enroll in an employer-sponsored health insurance plan. Enrollment in the TYA program is open anytime. Coverage will be retroactive under the TRICARE Standard benefit back to January 1, 2011, if you choose to pay premiums for those months.
Enrollment is easy. Just get the form on TRICARE’s TYA website and follow these steps:
- You can complete the enrollment form online, print it, and then mail it to your TRICARE Managed Care Support Contractor. You can also take it to your local TRICARE Service Center. The Young Adult applicant, not the sponsor, must sign the form and certify their eligibility. An initial payment will be required that includes the premium payments for the first three months. Payments will then become monthly.
- The person enrolled in the TYA will receive a welcome letter and an insurance card when their enrollment has been processed. They will show this card as proof of insurance when seeking medical care. When the application is processed, TRICARE Standard coverage will begin the first day of the following month. However, an initial one-month waiver will allow coverage back to May 1, 2011, if the enrollment form and payment are received (not postmarked) by your regional contractor before May 31, 2011.
- After receiving the insurance card (not before!), the young adult and their military sponsor may visit a uniformed services identification (ID) card issuing facility to get a military ID card. The ID card will be for health care access only, not for commissary, exchange, or other military benefits. Having a military ID card will make it easier for TYA Standard enrollees to access military pharmacies to get their medications filled or obtain emergency care at a military hospital. In the future, the ID card will allow TYA Prime enrollees to gain access for care within the military treatment facility. It is important to remember that TYA enrollees are eligible to use the TRICARE mail order option to receive needed medications to their home.
For additional information, go to the TRICARE Young Adult website.
Until military families are relieved of the weight of war, we hope you will continue to contribute to their wellbeing.
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