The Military Health System

The Office of the Secretary of Defense is ultimately responsible for the military health system, although there are many subordinate offices and agencies that support the military health system.

The Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs (ASD(HA)) determines and submits the budget. The Defense Health Agency is responsible for administering the program, which includes 9.2 million eligible members (beneficiaries). Each Service's Surgeon General maintains responsibility for overseeing their respective Military Treatment Facilities (MTF)—your military hospitals and clinics, and the people who work in those facilities.

TRICARE provides health care services worldwide either through military hospitals and clinics or civilian providers. The military has 63 hospitals and clinics around the world. Because these facilities can't provide all the care needed by military beneficiaries, TRICARE has contracts with civilian companies, the Managed Care Support Contractors, to arrange for needed care with civilian doctors, hospitals, clinics, and other facilities. These contractors help beneficiaries find civilian care and process the claims for that care.

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