WASHINGTON (NNS) -- When service members leave active duty, TRICARE offers a transitional health care option for eligible beneficiaries and their families while they look for new health coverage, officials reminded Sailors Dec. 12.
The Transitional Assistance Management Program (TAMP) is designed to extend TRICARE eligibility for sponsors and their family who involuntarily separate from the military prior to retirement. When separating from active duty, the sponsor and family lose TRICARE eligibility. However, TAMP permits individuals in certain beneficiary categories to retain their TRICARE coverage at no cost. For more information about TAMP and enrollment options, visit www.tricare.mil/tamp.
The beneficiary categories include:
* Sponsors involuntarily separated under honorable conditions
* National Guard or Reserve members separated from the military, following an active duty period of more than 30 consecutive days in support of a contingency operation
* Sponsors separated from the military, but involuntarily retained for reserve duty
* A sponsor who separates from active duty, following a voluntary agreement to stay on active duty status for a period of less than one year
* A sponsor who receives a sole survivorship discharge
* A sponsor who is separated from active duty who agrees to become a member of the Selected Reserve of the Ready Reserve of a Reserve component
A sponsor is not eligible for TAMP while on terminal leave, permissive temporary duty or authorized excess leave.
To ensure continuity of coverage during the TAMP period, it is essential the sponsor and their eligible family members' information in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) is current. Visit www.tricare.mil/deers to update information.
If a sponsor qualifies, the 180-day TAMP period begins the day after the date of separation from active duty. Under TAMP the sponsor and family members are automatically covered under TRICARE Standard and Extra. If a beneficiary lives overseas, he or she gets coverage under TRICARE Overseas Program (TOP) Standard.
Sponsors and their eligible family members may enroll in TRICARE Prime or TOP Prime if they live in an area where either is offered during the 180-day TAMP period. If they were enrolled in Prime or TOP Prime while on active duty, they must complete a new enrollment form and send it to the appropriate regional contractor, preferably before leaving active duty, to re-enroll for the TAMP period. The enrollment date is retroactive to the sponsor's separation date.
During TAMP, the sponsor and their family members are covered as active duty family members and all rules for that beneficiary category apply, including any applicable deductibles, cost-shares and copayments. For program cost information, visit www.tricare.mil/costs.
If a beneficiary is eligible for care under TAMP and has a newly diagnosed medical condition related to active duty service, he or she may qualify for 180 days of care for the specified service-related condition. For more information, visit www.tricare.mil/tcsrc.
During TAMP, dental care provided in military dental treatment facilities is on a space-available basis.
For more information abou the TRICARE Dental Program, visit www.TRICAREdentalprogram.com.
TRICARE's transitional health care option for eligible beneficiaries and their families is one of many transition benefits available to involuntarily separating Sailors including those affected by the Enlisted Retention Board.
For the latest ERB information, visit Navy Personnel Command's ERB website; www.public.navy.mil/bupers-nps/boards/ERB/Pages/default2/aspx.
For more news, visit www.navy.mil.