Assistant Director, Government Affairs
The Department of Defense recently announced the TRICARE Young Adult (TYA) Program is open for enrollment with coverage that began May 1, 2011.
Military dependents under 26, unmarried, and not eligible for their own employer-sponsored health care coverage may be qualified to purchase TYA, which offers TRICARE Standard coverage for monthly premiums of $186, as long as their sponsor is still eligible for TRICARE.
Those eligible for TYA who have been saving receipts since Jan. 1, 2011, in anticipation of the new program, can also pay all premiums back to January to purchase coverage retroactively.
Beneficiaries can find out where to send their form and payment by filling out the simple profile at http://www.tricare.mil to get information tailored to their specific location. Once the initial three-month fee is made, monthly premiums must be paid in advance through automated electronic payment.
Once the application is processed, TRICARE coverage will begin the first day of the following month. However, since TYA was "fast-tracked" to begin enrollment as soon as systems change, forms, premiums and other rules governing the program were approved and in place, and a short term waiver will allow coverage back to May 1, 2011, as long as enrollment forms and payment are received (not postmarked) by the regional contractor prior to May 31, 2011.
After getting a welcome letter and enrollment card, dependents and their sponsor should visit uniformed services identification (ID) card issuing facility to obtain a dependent ID card. This card will identify eligibility for health care, prescriptions and access to military installations for the dependent. Nearby ID card facilities can be found through a link at http://www.tricare.mil/tya.
A Prime benefit will be available later this year. To get e-alerts on TYA and other TRICARE news, sign up at http://www.tricare.mil/subscriptions.