TRICARE program for dependents to age 26

  • Published
  • By Brian P. Smith
  • TriWest Healthcare Alliance
What are the TRICARE choices for a college student who turns 23? What about for 21-year-olds who lost their eligibility due to age? These young adults now have an option for TRICARE coverage.

TRICARE Young Adult
TRICARE Young Adult is medical and pharmacy coverage for dependents. An eligible enrollee has a TRICARE-eligible sponsor, is unmarried, is not yet 26 years old and is not eligible for their own employer-sponsored healthcare coverage. Each enrollee pays a monthly premium ($186). Eligibility, coverage, cost and enrollment information is at

TRICARE Young Adult currently provides the same coverage as TRICARE Standard. The sponsor's status will determine the catastrophic cap, deductible and cost shares. Dental coverage is not included.

A payment covering the first three monthly premiums ($558 total) is required with the initial enrollment. Automatic recurring monthly payments by credit/debit card or electronic fund transfer are required. You can set up recurring payments on the enrollment application.

Premiums may not be paid via sponsor's allotment. TRICARE Young Adult Premiums cannot be combined or paid with the sponsor's other TRICARE premium or fee. Bill payments set up and made through a bank will not be accepted.

1. Download and fill out the TRICARE Young Adult Application (
2. Choose a coverage start date-either the first day of the next month (or the first date of a month up to 90 days in the future) or a date in the past (retroactive or continuous coverage).
· Submit (see step 4) the enrollment form with premium payment to TriWest before May 31 and you can request a May 1 or June 1 start date for coverage. Beginning June 1, you have to submit the application and payment the by the last day of the month before coverage starts.
· The first date of a month up to 90 days in the future.
3. Print the application. The young adult enrollee must sign and date the application.
4. Submit the signed application along with premium payment to TriWest.
· Fax: 1-866-259-0419; Mail: TriWest Healthcare Alliance, PO Box 43315, Phoenix, AZ 85080-3315; or submit at a TRICARE Service Center.

Coverage retroactive to January 1, 2011 (or the first date of eligibility if after January 1, 2011) is available during initial enrollment. If purchasing retroactive coverage, you will have to pay the monthly premiums dating back to the start of your retroactive coverage in addition to the initial three-month premium payment. Retroactive coverage will not be available for enrollments after September 30, 2011.

In October 2011, a TRICARE Young Adult Prime option will be available. Enrollment into this option will also require a monthly premium.

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