ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. --
In an effort to take care of Airmen and spread facts and not fear, Air Force Reserve Command senior leaders are encouraging all Reserve Citizen Airmen to visit the Air Force’s COVID-19 web page (https://www.af.mil/News/Coronavirus-Disease-2019/) and the Air Force Reserve Command’s COVID-19 web page (https://www.afrc.af.mil/COVID-19/) for the latest on the virus and how it is impacting the service. These sites contain the latest news, travel advisories, frequently asked questions, COVID-19 affected activities and gatherings, health protection measures, and helpful resource links from the Centers for Disease Control, Department of State, Department of Defense, Department of Health and Human Services and other organizations.
COVID-19 Q&As will be updated as related circumstances evolve, below we address some of the concerns and uncertainty surrounding Tricare Reserve Select.
TRICARE Reserve Select
What is TRICARE Reserve Select?
The TRICARE Reserve Select health plan is available for purchase by qualified members of the Selected Reserve.
Are TRICARE Reserve Select premiums automatically deducted from a Reserve member's monthly service paycheck?
No. TRICARE Reserve Select premium is NOT taken out of a member's monthly drill pay. The member is required to set up a separate payment method from his or her own bank or credit card. Therefore, non-receipt of drill pay is not directly connected to non-payment of TRICARE Reserve Select premium. To check eligibility requirements, review health care and payment options or to find answers to other questions regarding TRICARE, please visit the TRICARE website at www.tricare.mil.
Is there the ability for a Reserve member to seek waiver of monthly premiums?
Since members must pay monthly premiums that represent 28 percent of the cost of the coverage by law, TRICARE Reserve Select premiums cannot be waived. However, to address concerns that members of the Select Reserve may be unable to pay the monthly TRICARE Reserve Select premiums due to the COVID-19 emergency, if the TRICARE contractor is unsuccessful in collecting the premium at the beginning of the month from the member's bank account or credit card on file, the contractor will delay terminating coverage until 90 days after the date the COVID-19 emergency has ended, as determined by the Director, Defense Health Agency.
What happens if a Reserve member cannot pay the monthly, or accumulated, premiums?
Select reserve members are strongly encouraged to continue to pay their premiums each month if possible, as unpaid premiums accumulate each month and cannot be waived. If not fully paid within 90 days after the end date of the COVID-19 emergency period, as determined by the Director, Defense Health Agency, the TRICARE Reserve Select coverage will be terminated retroactive to the last premium paid-through date. If any TRICARE payments were made for those uncovered dates of service, the TRICARE contractor will be required to recoup the payments. If a member is in need of assistance during this time of financial difficulty, they are encouraged to contact their chain of command and local Airmen and Family Readiness Centers, or contact Military One Source at https://www.militaryonesource.mil/ or 1-800-342-9647.
If a member has an expired CAC card, does that affect a member’s TRICARE enrollment?
No. TRICARE enrollment is not tied to the CAC expiration date. As long as a Service Member’s continued service is reflected in DEERS they will maintain their TRICARE enrollment. Members with an expiring or expired CAC should consult their personnel offices for guidance on renewals. Additional guidance on CAC card expiration is still being worked. Updates will be published as new guidance becomes available.
For more information, reach out to your local chain of command or TRICARE Reserve Select contractor.