Logons improve TRICARE access for retired reservists

Monday, August 01, 2011

DS Logons for retired reservists. Retired reservists can now get a DoD Self-service Logon (DS Logon) account at any TRICARE Service Center (TSC) worldwide. Once they have a DS Logon, they can use it to go online to purchase TRICARE Retired Reserve (TRR) health care coverage. (To locate the nearest TSC, visit www.tricare.mil/contacts.)

In-person proofing at Veterans Administration regional offices or remote proofing through the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS)/Defense Manpower Data Center Support Office (DSO) remain available as well.

The DS Logon can be used to access the Web-based Reserve Component Purchased TRICARE Application to qualify for and purchase TRR, a premium-based health care plan available to qualified gray-area retired reservists and their survivors.

If a retired reservist does not have a DS Logon account, he or she can still call the DSO at 1-(800) 538-9552 1-(866) 363-2883 for the hearing impaired) to request documentation via remote proofing. DSO will provide step-by-step instructions and the appropriate documentation to get a DS Logon.

Retired reservists may also still go to designated VA regional offices to complete in-person-proofing and get a DS Logon account.

To locate a VA regional office, see www.vba.va.gov/vba/benefits/offices.asp.

Getting a DS Logon is not restricted to retired reservists. Members of the Selected Reserve most likely have either a Common Access Card or Defense Finance and Accounting Service account that allow them to access the Web-based Reserve Component Purchased TRICARE Application to qualify for and purchase TRICARE Reserve Select. However, for those who do not, National Guard and Reserve members can also get DS Logon accounts as mentioned above, similar to retired reservists.

For more information about TRICARE’s health care benefits for members of the Reserve and National Guard, visit www.tricare.osd.mil/reserve.

Tips for retiring service members. The TRICARE Management Activity recently produced an article that gives service members some tips on how to plan for their health care needs as they retire.

If space is available, retirees can continue care in a military treatment facility (MTF) with a primary care manager, through TRICARE Prime.

This requires re-enrolling and paying annual fees of $230 for an individual and $460 for a family.

If beneficiaries choose to enroll in TRICARE Prime at an MTF, they will receive care based on the same access-to-care standards as all other Prime beneficiaries.

TRICARE Standard or Extra may be the best option if a retiree moves to a location that is not near an MTF or where Prime is not offered.

TRICARE Standard is a flexible, affordable plan that gives retirees and their eligible family members a greater choice of providers, no enrollment fees, waiver of cost shares for most preventive health care services and the same low catastrophic cap as TRICARE Prime.

TRICARE Extra offers even lower out-of-pocket expense if retirees use network providers.

Although there is no enrollment fee for TRICARE Standard and Extra, a deductible of $150 for individuals and $300 for a family must be met before cost-sharing begins.

Under TRICARE Standard and Extra, retirees retain the same access to pharmacy benefits through a local MTF or TRICARE Pharmacy Home Delivery. To learn more about Home Delivery, go to: www.tricare.mil/homedelivery.

Retirees also have the option to use the TRICARE retail pharmacy network and can purchase dental coverage through the TRICARE Retiree Dental Program (TRDP). More information on TRDP can be found at www.trdp.org.

Retirees should always remember to update the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) with any new personal information, including a new address. The website address for DEERS is www.dmdc.osd.mil/appj/dwp/index.jsp.

Automatic coverage by TRICARE Standard and Extra or TOP Standard occurs after retirement as long as DEERS information is current.