New to TRICARE? Handbook Helps You Know Your Health Plan Options > TRICARE Newsroom > Articles


If you are curious about your TRICARE health plan options, the TRICARE Choices in the USA Manual can help. Whether you are active duty, leaving the service, retiring, or a family member, this all-in-one handbook provides an overview of your health care options in the United States. It also outlines your options for pharmaceutical, dental, and vision coverage.

“The TRICARE Choices in the USA Manual is a great starting point to show you what health plans in the United States may be available to you and your family members,” said Robert Agnello, deputy chief of digital communications at the Defense Health Agency. “The handbook also provides an overview of how to enroll in a plan, how to get care with your plan, and costs.”

Here is an overview of what the manual highlights.

1. Health plans for sponsors and family members

Your TRICARE plan options change depending on the sponsor’s status: active duty, terminated, or retired. To see which health plans you and your family members may be eligible for based on your military status, see “Your TRICARE Options by Sponsor Status”. Sponsor and family member health plan options may include:

2. How TRICARE plans work and what is covered

In the “Health Care Options” section, you will find a general overview of TRICARE health plans, including enrollment rules, how you can get care, and associated costs. This section also introduces health care terms and cost terms common to TRICARE, such as:

3. Dental and visual options

As noted in the manual, there are three distinct dental options for TRICARE health plans:

How do you know which package you or your family members can purchase? See the “Dental and Vision Options” section of the handbook for a breakdown of dental plans and who qualifies. Want more visual coverage? If you are enrolled in a TRICARE health plan and are an active duty family member, retiree, or eligible family member of a retiree, you may be eligible to purchase coverage from vision through FEDVIP. Check the manual for more details to help you get started.

The TRICARE Choices in the USA Manual is a TRICARE information resource. There is also the TRICARE Choices for National Guard and Reserve Handbook and TRICARE Overseas Program Handbook. See TRICARE publications for more resources on specific plans and benefits. And share your thoughts with us by completing the post survey.

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