Tricare telephone numbers and other means of contact listed at bottom of
What is TRICARE?
TRICARE is the program that the military provides for active duty and retired service personnel, their eligible family members and
survivors' healthcare. TRICARE strives to be a world-class health system that supports the military mission by protecting, fostering, sustaining, and restoring
History of TRICARE:
In 1884, Congress set the stage for a program to serve the Armed Forces' medical needs. It was a very simple statement: “Medical officers of the Army and contract surgeons shall whenever possible attend the families of the officers and soldiers free of charge.”
In 1943, Congress gave the go ahead for the Emergency Maternal and Infant Care Program
(EMIC). This program provided maternity and infant care up to one year of age for wives and children of Service members in the four lowest parts of the pay table.
Then, in December of 1956, the Dependents Medical Care Act gave authorization to the DoD so that it could contract medical care out to civilian health care providers in order to insure adequate health care to family members of active duty and retired Service members. Amendments to this Act laid the foundation for what would be called the Civilian Health and Medical Program for the Uniformed Services (CHAMPUS).
After CHAMPUS was official in 1966, it served the uniformed services for over thirty years as a cost sharing program that was used to provide civilian in- and outpatient care, including ambulatory and psychiatric care, for active duty family members when a military facility was unable to do so. CHAMPUS was changed in January 1967 to bring retirees, their family members, and certain surviving family members of deceased uniformed services sponsors into the program.
CHAMPUS needed some improvement. Thus, during the 1980s, there was the launch of CHAMPUS “demonstration” projects such as the CHAMPUS Reform Initiative
(CRI) in 1988. The CRI tested the program in California and Hawaii and offered family members a choice of ways in which they could use their military health care benefits. During the five years of the demonstration, it was very satisfactory.
In 1993, Department of Defense officials saw the current benefits and decided to extend - and improved - the
CRI. The new and improved program was renamed TRICARE.
Just this year, the armed forces have gotten together with one of the world's
most renowned health care and insurance companies, Humana, Inc. At www.humana-military.com,
you will find Humana Military Health Care Services and all relevant progress
that is being made toward transforming TRICARE into a Humana system.
Eligibility for TRICARE:
- Active and retired service members from any of the seven Uniformed
- Spouses of active and retired service members
- Unmarried children of active and retired service members (until age 21)
- Reserve component members on active duty more than 30 days
- Spouses and children of said reserve members
- Dependent parents and step-parents - for treatment in an MTF
Three types of TRICARE:
- TRICARE Prime. Military Treatment Facilities (MTFs) are normally the
principal source of health care.
- TRICARE Standard. The care provided by CHAMPUS.
- TRICARE Extra. The same care provided under TRICARE Standard but with a
discount due to negotiated fees with health care providers that are part of
the TRICARE network.
Links to more TRICARE information: