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5.0

Overall Score

LAST UPDATED: January 18th, 2023

TRICARE stands out as a health insurance company because it provides military service members and their families with great health insurance options to meet the specific needs of the military. 

TRICARE has additional benefit programs that provide assistance when transitioning from TRICARE insurance to civilian health insurance. Some of these programs help with travel expenses for medical care, autism care costs, and cancer clinical trial expenses. 

TRICARE also provides Medicare insurance to eligible individuals that offers coverage throughout the world.

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The Good

  • Positive Reviews
  • Plan Options Designed for Military Needs
  • Special Additional Programs

Positive Reviews

Although TRICARE does not have many reviews on BestCompany.com, most of its reviews are positive.

Reviewers appreciate how well TRICARE integrates with Medicare, the coverage offered, and affordable pricing.

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Customer Review: Lacey Horne from Salt Lake City, Utah

"One of the main reasons my husband got back into the military. Amazing coverage, great customer service and helpful website! Many doctors to choose from, quick bill processing!"

Plan Options Designed for Military Needs

TRICARE offers 11 kinds of health insurance plans to meet the needs of military service members and their families:

  • TRICARE Prime
  • TRICARE Prime Remote
  • TRICARE Prime Overseas
  • TRICARE Prime Remote Overseas
  • TRICARE Select
  • TRICARE Select Overseas
  • TRICARE for Life
  • TRICARE Reserve Select
  • TRICARE Retired Reserve
  • TRICARE Young Adult
  • U.S. Family Health Plan

With all four of the TRICARE Prime plans, members work with a Primary Care Manager (PCM) who coordinates their care. A Primary Care Manager has a similar function to a Primary Care Physician, which is a term used more commonly on other health insurance plans.

The cost specifics vary plan to plan. Most of the TRICARE Prime plans do not have premiums, annual enrollment fees, copays, or out-of-pocket costs for active duty or command sponsored military members as long as the care is from the member’s PCM or from a specialist referred by the PCM. Some of these same features apply to their family members depending on the eligibility rules of the specific plan.

With the two TRICARE Select plans there is an annual deductible and cost sharing for medical care received.

The TRICARE Select Overseas plan does not require referrals to specialists from a PCM. However, prior authorization is required for some kinds of medical care.

The TRICARE Reserve Select plan is designed for members of the Selected Reserves. It has premiums and an annual deductible. It is connected to a network of doctors. Using this network gives plan members access to larger discounts and coverage than visiting out-of-network doctors.

The TRICARE Retired Reserve Plan is similar to the TRICARE Reserve Select plan, but is intended for retired Reserve members under age 60 and their families.

TRICARE also offers Medicare parts A and B to TRICARE-eligible beneficiaries through its TRICARE For Life plan. Those enrolled pay monthly premiums and have medical coverage in the United States and abroad.

For unmarried children ages 21-26 of eligible sponsors, the TRICARE Young Adult plan offers medical insurance coverage if children are not eligible for any other kind of health insurance.

There are two options with the TRICARE Young Adult plan: Prime and Select. The Prime options works like the TRICARE Prime plans. The Select option works like the TRICARE Select plans.

The U.S. Family Health plan has no enrollment fees or out-of-pocket costs for care received from a U.S. Family Health Plan provider. This plan can be combined with Medicare coverage if individuals were enrolled in the U.S. Family Health plan before October 1, 2012.

Special Additional Programs

TRICARE offers the following additional programs to benefit its members:

  • Autism Care Demonstration: provides coverage for applied behavior analysis
  • Cancer Clinical Trials: provides coverage for eligibility screening tests and participation costs
  • Chiropractic Health Care Program: covers chiropractic care from some military hospitals and clinics
  • Combat-Related Special Compensation Travel Benefit: reimburses travel expenses for injury-related care for travel of more than 100 miles
  • Computer/Electronic Accommodations Program: provides technology assistance to qualifying Federal employees and managers to ensure that jobs are accessible to people with disabilities or injuries
  • Continued Health Care Benefit Program: provides health care coverage for 18-36 months after losing TRICARE eligibility
  • Extended Care Health Option: extends health care coverage for military family members who are transitioning out of TRICARE and are in the Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP)
  • Provisional Coverage Program: provides coverage for emergency services and supplies with prior authorization
  • Transitional Assistance Management Program: provides 180 days of premium-free transitional health care benefits after TRICARE benefits end
  • TRICARE Plus: offers additional coverage for primary care services at military hospitals and clinics
  • Women, Infants, and Children Overseas Program: provides support to qualifying military families for living healthy lives. A WIC counselor determines eligibility and works with families on nutrition. The program also helps with health screenings.
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The Bad

  • Minimal Customer Insight
  • Negative Reviews
  • Eligibility Rules
  • Exclusions

Minimal Customer Insight

TRICARE has not received many customer reviews on Best Company. Although no conclusions can be drawn regarding the general customer experience, it's promising that most TRICARE reviews are positive.

Negative Reviews

While most of TRICARE's reviews are positive, Best Company has also received some negative reviews. 

Complaints center on issues with pre-authorization and coverage denial. Understand what your TRICARE plan covers before you enroll so you know whether or not it will meet your needs.

Eligibility Rules

TRICARE only offers health insurance to individuals who are registered in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System, including the following:

  • Uniformed Service members and their families
  • National Guard members and their families
  • National Reserve members and their families
  • Survivors
  • Former spouses
  • Medal of Honor recipients and their families

Because each of TRICARE’s health insurance plans are designed with specific groups in mind, each plan has its own eligibility requirements. Details about plan-specific requirements can be viewed easily from TRICARE’s website.

Exclusions

TRICARE health insurance also has some exclusions. These exclusions can be viewed on TRICARE’s website.

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The Bottom Line

While TRICARE has some exclusions and specific eligibility requirements, its health insurance plans are excellent choices for those serving as part of the U.S. military and their families.

TRICARE’s plans are designed with specific military needs in mind, like being stationed overseas.

TRICARE also offers additional programs that help military families lead healthy lives, provide access to new cancer treatments, and transition from TRICARE health insurance.

Although more customer insight is necessary, TRICARE is worth considering if you meet its eligibility requirements.

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Star Rating

2.7

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29 Reviews

Review Breakdown

5 grade

31%

4 grade

10%

3 grade

3%

2 grade

7%

1 grade

48%

Sentiment Criteria

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Quality

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Johnny Hasselquist Panama City, 8

TRICARE is a company that is contracted through the government to provide insurance coverage for American military service members, retirees, and eligible family members. Beneficiaries still pay have to pay insurance fees and will have to submit claims through the TRICARE website if the doctor is not doing it for them. TRICARE will try its best to force a beneficiary to use a military facility. While in Europe, I was forced regularly to use a military facility even if that meant to drive for hours to get there. All in an effort to avoid paying anything to the near civilian facility. Even if you are allowed to use a civilian facility, TRICARE will delay payment to the point, where civilian facilities required a down payment ahead of time. In Germany, if you wanted to go to a hospital, the hospital required a 1000 Euro security deposit, which they paid you back after TRICARE paid the bill. I was haunted by doctors, because TRICARE refused to pay for services. Currently I am enrolled in TRICARE Overseas as a retiree, and it deliberately will pay only part, none at all, or apply the fee to the catastrophic cap of the bill. The beneficiary will have to go after TRICARE to request an explanation for this since the EOB (Explanation of Benefits) usually does not contain that information. Recently TRICARE denied payment for some doctor visits and medication. Flat-out denied it. After calling them, they claimed that the reason this was denied because there was no address for the doctor. Keep in mind that TRICARE claim forms do not require that information. Even though the information was right there on each individual bill that was uploaded with the claim. They claimed they send me a letter about this, but did not state that on the EOB. One payment they refused, was for a biopsy of a breast mass, for my wife, who is at risk for breast cancer. This is documented. TRICARE denied payment because they wanted an explanation, even though, again, the explanation and findings were attached to the claim. Every time a denial happens TRICARE wants a written letter that needs to be sent by mail. If you follow up by phone, they claim that they have not received it. This allows for plausible deniability on their part, and as the beneficiary, you have no recourse but to send it again or just let it go. Now comes payment. We have bank information posted on our account. In almost 2 years we have not received a single payment. After emailing and calling them, they told us that they send out a check. We have never received a single check since we live overseas. We called them and explained the situation. They stated that they would cancel all checks and move the money into the posted bank account. This was 8 months ago, and we have yet to receive a single payment. However last week I messaged again about non-payment, and again they stated they mailed a check. TRICARE is an insurance company and as such, I do not believe they work in the best interest of beneficiaries. They will do their best to make the process as complicated as possible if there is an issue. Any complaints that are made usually get lost in the shuffle or get a token response. They are so far for my family never adequately addressed.

2 weeks ago

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Wisal Ibraheem Norfolk, VA

If I could give Tricare a negative rating I would. I recently got married and left my old insurance plan to be with my husbands. Let me tell you, I regret even moving to this state because of how bad that health insurance is. I’m surprised it had a 2 star rating. I was expecting to find this page and see at most a 1 star rating. They don’t care about their patients. AT ALL. The first doctor I ever went to while using Tricare prime made me cry! Sure not all of the doctors were as bad as her and that nurse on my first visit but most of them are as bad as that. I’ve probably had 1-2 good doctors visits out of the 30+ I’ve been to. Also Tricare placed me at a hospital that’s almost an hour away from my house ! And every time I try to call them to try and change my primary care doctor to a closer location, they never pick up! Don’t get me started the communication between doctors and offices IN THE SAME BUILDING is none existent ! I recently called the nurse advice line because I’m in excruciating pain, I couldn’t move to get my spouse ID because I leave it in the car, I haven’t memorized my husbands SSN because we’re newly married and I couldn’t call him to ask for it because he’s in deployment. I have the person on the phone ALL of my information and she could tell I was in pain. She kept saying “I know you’re in pain but this will be fast. “ when it came time for me to give them his SSN or my Dod I told her im in way too much paid to get out of bed walk down the stairs go outside and get it and she simply said we’ll gather yourself and call back once you have it. …… that was pure inhumane. TRICARE DO BETTER !

2 months ago

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JUAN VALLE Palmdale, CA

Tricare Select for retirees is constantly raising costs to push people out and force them to sign up for Tricare Prime. They claim the basis of the increase is the annual cost of living adjustment for retired military pay. They have doubled the family policy fees.

2 months ago

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Jim Zeth Carl Junction, MO

I retired from the US Air Force in 1998 after 20 years of service. I was in during a time when veterans were covered by CHAMPUS. The couple of times I used it was simple and hassle free. Then the switch to Tricare. At first it wasn't bad, living in the east, coverage by Humana, we received some pretty good care. Now, living in Missouri, a little bit older, coverage by Tricare West is the pits. My doctor prescribed a series of x-rays as a preventive measure - DENIED. I end up paying out of pocket. Nine months later, after a bout with Covid, the doctor requests a chest x-ray, PAID by Tricare West. What The ____! TW gives me the runaround, how the preventive was out of network. BULL! Same hospital, same doctor, all the same players. If I had the means, I wouldn't trust Tricare West to take care of anything about me or my dog.

5 months ago

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Crist Holveck Groton, CT

21 year retired Navy/USCG. Went to VA to get a skin condition looked at (psorias). VA dermatologist prescribed a medication, and the pharmacy would not issue it. My wife is still active duty, so I went thru the hassle of finding a new PCM to use our TriCare Prime. New Dr. prescribed a medication and TriCare would not pay for it. I've been serving my country for decades and virtually never used a single medical perk, with the exception of annual medical and dental check ups, and TriCare won't spring for a medication that will allow me to walk without the skin on my knees from bleeding, or comb my hair without ripping a hole in my scalp? TriCare and VA both SUCK!

6 months ago

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Ruth Mcpherson Clarksville, TN

All my medical bills goes thru Medicare and Tricare for Life. Almost 2 yrs ago I was admitted to medical center and spent 5 days, th en went to Nursinh/Rehab and spent 2 wweks and all the bills were pd for between the 2 companies.

2 years ago

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BNJ

I appreciate Tricare for the quickness of getting our family taken care of! I like everything about Tricare. The only issue that I think that they could improve on is taking care of meeting the deductible better and keep us in formed about our Catastrophic Cap.

4 years ago

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Amanda Matthews

Fraudulent fraudulent fraudulent!! You’re better off anywhere else!!! I received misleading information from multiple employees regarding reimbursement from a provider that was out of network, but “in their system.” Said I would have a $300 deductible, then insurance would kick in for up to 50% of the allowed amount for reimbursement after the claim was filed. After months of being on the phone with them, including having to wait thirty days for an address update in their system??, I am still awaiting a $70 reimbursement check for $1410 paid out of pocket. 6.3% after my “deductible.” I was jerked around by this incompetent company, and never given any helpful information to help me with my claim. At best, they’re negligent, and at worst, fraudulent. The latter is more plausible; misinforming customers of TriCare’s policies and procedures so they are left with the bill is unacceptable. Please investigate this company’s practices!

10 months ago

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KayCee Belka Derby, KS

Generally, we have had good experience with Tricare. We typically don't have issues with being able to find in network providers or having our insurance paid out. They are usually timely in their processing and taking care of payments. Unfortunately, we have had a couple of occasions when things have been miscommunicated and have had to jump through hoops for Tricare to pay their portion. Overall, we have had a good experience though.

3 years ago

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Dead Coins Kansas City, MO

Tricare is only good if you don't need any actual medical attention. No good doctors or dentist can afford to take Tricare Insurance. Most doctors who take Tricare insurance are in the inner city's and slightly better than urgent cares. For dentists if you are looking for anything bigger than a cleaning and a checkup you will be paying big money out of pocket. Tricare Insurance does not pay the dentists any money. Tricare Insurance 12 years ago not bad. Tricare Insurance today is a massive scam. We can do better for the men and women who have raised their hands and took that oath.

11 months ago

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EL CHOPPER Port Saint Lucie, FL

The bureaucracy of Tricare is beyond anything is Government. The doctor prescribed medication, but they want a pre-authorization. I was informed that pre-authorization is a way for Tricare to no authorized the drug due to cost. Their doctors will review the authorization and will try to prescribe a cheaper medication regardless of effectiveness. I can't wait to go into medicare. I am a person with diabetes and was prescribed Ozempic, but that needs pre-authorization. The Endrocronoligist prescribed FreeStyleLibre2 to enable me to better monitor the glucose levels in my body, and this is not authorized due to cost. This is insane!

2 years ago

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Douglas Scalf Aurora, CO

The worst health care ever...if you have no insurance, you can get drugs free or for copay 30.00 or less...if your retired and your doctor orders you the same drug...it is denied and if you still want to pay for it...1200.00 to 1500.00 for the same drug...seems to me having no insurance is better then having Tricare...for cost...and I am retired military. My wife needs a drug because of severe diarrhea, cant leave the house has to be by the toilet...Dr. states this drug Viberzi will fix it....Tricare declined...cost out of pocket 1200.00 to 1500.00 unless you have no insurance...then its free or less then 30.00....Dexilant, my wife was on it for 10 years, been getting it for 12,00 copay...this year...1200.00 no copay allowed...unless of course...you have no insurance and then they will give it to you for free....so if you sit on you butt and do nothing you can get cheap meds anyplace...but if you busted your tail for 21 years and your spouse needs the same med...1200.00 to 1500.00 dollars....you tell me is this fair?

2 years ago

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Elizabeth Havana, FL

Tricare has been extremely helpful when it comes to my health care. There are many services that are covered by Tricare and most of my medications are 90% covered.

11 months ago

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Lacey Horne Salt Lake City, UT

One of the main reasons my husband got back into the military. Amazing coverage, great customer service and helpful website! Many doctors to choose from, quick bill processing!

2 years ago

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Corbett Douglas Cedar Fort, UT

Being in the military has this benefit. However it is getting worse. Pre authorizations are sometimes difficult. However they have, in the end covered everything, but mental health, which is sad because they say they care about our mental health.

2 years ago

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Shane Jacobson Wilsonville, AL

Been trying to get a PCM for about 7 months now but no one is accepting new patients, went to the emergency room this morning and they issued a consult but Tricare will not accept any consult that is not from a PCM. Have no clue what to due, I am in so much pain. Thank you for nothing

10 months ago

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Susan DeBow Egg Harbor, NJ

WARNING...you are not always automatically enrolled in Tricare for Life once you join Medicare as the Tricare website mentions. I actually believed this only to find out it is not true. Once I contacted Tricare for Life, the operator said she would put me on the list for the next system update which will happen in about SIX weeks. All Medicare claims would need to be resubmitted to Tricare. My advice...Make sure TRICARE is set-up as a crossover insurance to Medicare by calling TRICARE to verify.

1 year ago

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Joy Addison Houston, TX

AWFUL COMPANY!!! Do not waste your time or money!!! They will do whatever they can NOT to pay claims, but make CERTAIN to bill you monthly. They randomly stopped paying my claims and claimed it was because the doctors office needed to re-recertify. The office sent the proper paperwork and magically, 6 months later Tricare still can’t provide an update. I plan on escalating my issues to the highest point possible and I hope this company is investigated for fraud.

1 year ago

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Lorraine v

At the time I was in the starting a divorce my x illegally took me off tricare health insurance by the time he was forced to put me back on it had been way past when I needed a mammogram my x knew I was supposed to have that yearly and on purpose took me off. Anyway tri care does not help military spouses they only cover for the military member even though they should help out the spouse. Any other health insurance company would help the spouse military or not and that is the difference which should never be .

1 year ago

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GREGORY BOTTOMS Elgin, TX

Supplemental plan for military retirees. Integrates well with Medicare. Easy web access. Covers Rx and majority of expenses.

2 years ago

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Logan Hudson Norcross, GA

I have been a member of Tricare Health Insurance for my entire life, I have always been able to find places that accept the insurance and the customer service has been great when I need it.

2 years ago

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Mhorne182 Eagle Mountain, UT

Tricare is a fantastic healthcare plan. Being in the reserves, the plans are affordable and the coverage is good. MUCH better than any employer plan I have ever been on.

2 years ago

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J.J. Garcia Austin, TX

Tricare seems to be managed by incompetent bureaucrats. I literally got my former spouse ID activated, verified eligibility, and dumb Tricare says I'm active in their system, but they can't verify which plan. Completely moronic.

1 year ago

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Janice Genes Hurricane, UT

It sure is getting a little better since the president is trying to make it affordable . Been in the military for 22 years and this is what we had to use. It’s better than getting service on the base.

2 years ago

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graystillplays reaction Detroit, MI

If you like waiting for healthcare, the runaround, dropping of the ball, incompetence, and complete uncaring of your healthcare needs…this is the insurance for you.

9 months ago

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Jill Bonifay, FL

Wonderful company for veterans and their families. have seen me through some tough times

11 months ago

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matt Saluda, NC

Tricare drug prescription service is pitiful. they disregard the best drug coverage and always go with the cheapest--regardless of side effects.

11 months ago

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Claudine Doyle CA

Tori are had always taken great care of us. Just wish more doctors took it.

11 months ago

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Cindy

Deductible is very inexpensive has covered all my needs.

2 years ago