TRICARE Beneficiary Category

TRICARE offers a variety of health care, dental, and a pharmacy benefits. Programs differ because of the different types of beneficiary (user) categories, location of available services, and types of services offered.

The best way to start navigating TRICARE is by identifying your beneficiary category. Your eligibility for TRICARE health care programs, and often the cost you pay for health care services, are determined by your beneficiary category. TRICARE beneficiaries can be divided into two main categories: sponsors and family members.  Sponsors include active duty service members, retired service members, and National Guard and Reserve members.  Family members are spouses and children who are registered in the DEERS, the Defense Eligibility Enrollment Reporting System. 

Other eligible beneficiary categories include:

  • Medal of Honor recipients and their family members
  • Surviving family members whose sponsors have passed away on active duty
  • Widows/widowers and children whose sponsors have passed away after retiring
  • Some un-remarried former spouses

Eligibility information is available here.

Which category do you belong to?

The TRICARE health care programs are: TRICARE Prime; TRICARE Prime Remote (TPR); TRICARE Prime Overseas; TRICARE Prime Remote Overseas; TRICARE Standard and Extra; TRICARE Standard Overseas; TRICARE Reserve Select; TRICARE Retired Reserve; TRICARE For Life; TRICARE Young Adult; and the US Family Health Plan

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