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TRICARE and dependent parents

Posted 6/18/2009   Updated 6/18/2009 Email story   Print story


by Tyler Patterson
TriWest Healthcare Alliance

6/18/2009 - PHOENIX -- One great thing about your TRICARE coverage is it not only extends to your spouse and children, but in some cases, also climbs up your family tree to dependent parents and parents-in-law.

The process to register your parents or parents-in-law as dependents varies by service branch. The best way to get started is by visiting your local ID card-issuing facility and asking for help to register a dependent parent.

After your parents' dependent status is confirmed, they will be eligible to receive a military ID card. This ID card is required for your parent to access care at a military treatment facility (MTF) through your TRICARE benefit.

Once you've received your ID cards, there are a few things to keep in mind when accessing care for your dependent parents:

· Dependent parents and dependent parents-in-law receive care at an MTF on a space-available basis. This means they may not be able to secure an appointment when the MTF does not have available capacity.
· Dependent parents and parents-in-law are not eligible for TRICARE outside of the MTF. Any claim submitted to TRICARE for care received outside the MTF will be denied.
· Dependent parents and parents-in-law are not eligible for TRICARE pharmacy benefits outside of the MTF, either. They also cannot use TRICARE's Express Scripts pharmacy benefit in the civilian sector.
· Because they are not eligible for TRICARE outside the MTF, any care received from a civilian provider must be covered by another form of insurance, Medicare, for example.

Remember, dependent parents and parents-in-law are not eligible for TRICARE Prime, TRICARE Standard or Extra or TRICARE For Life. They may only access care at an MTF to be covered by their sponsor's TRICARE benefit.

For additional information on dependent parent coverage, visit TRICARE's Dependent Parents page or contact a TriWest representative at 1-888-TRIWEST (1-888-874-9378).

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