Whenever a major life change occurs, such as a marriage, birth or adoption, you should update your TRICARE information as soon as possible to ensure your family receives the benefits they are entitled to in a timely manner. A child is initially covered for the first 60 days following birth or adoption. Within those 60 days, you must take two steps to take to ensure continuous coverage under TRICARE Prime: 1) add the child to your DEERS information, and 2) apply the child for the TRICARE Prime program.
Updating Your DEERS File
The first step is to register your child with DEERS, the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System which keeps track of eligible TRICARE beneficiaries:
- Visit a military ID-issuing facility near you.
- Present proof of birth or adoption (see below).
- Fill out DD Form 1172-2, Application for Identification Card/DEERS Enrollment.
Proof of birth or adoption include original or certified copy of:
- Birth certificate
- Certificate of live birth
- Consular report of birth overseas (for child born abroad)
- Adoption decree
- Letter of placement (pre-adoptive child)
Applying a Child for TRICARE Prime
Simply reporting the birth or adoption of your child to DEERS does not get him or her covered under Prime. You must apply for this program separately:
- Get DoD Form 2876, TRICARE Prime Enrollment Application & PCM Change
- Fill out the application form and mail it to your TRICARE regional contractor
- If the child is not registered within one year with DEERS, the child won’t be eligible for TRICARE until entered in the database.
- If the child is not enrolled in Prime within 60 days, he or she will be covered under TRICARE Standard and Extra instead.
- Make sure the child’s name in the TRICARE application form matches what is entered in DEERS.
- Get your child’s Social Security Number as soon as possible, and then update his or her DEERS info.
- Contact your TRICARE regional contractor for help with enrolling your child.
- If you pay an enrollment fee to be on TRICARE Prime, your fee will be upgraded from individual to family rate when you add your spouse.
For Overseas Parents
For families on TRICARE Prime and TRICARE Prime Remote Overseas, you have up to 120 days to do the paperwork, instead of just 60 days. This is to give you enough time to get everything you need to claim your newborn or newly adopted child.