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Overall Score

LAST UPDATED: November 21st, 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.

Top Ranked Companies


The Good

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

Positive Reviews

Although TRICARE does not have many reviews on, 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.

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.


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


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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51 Reviews

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Michael Hoffman

Was injured in a way that immediate, 24 hour care was recommended by their own advice line. My on-post clinic was not taking walk ins or sick call at the time, and I had to be at an orthopedic exam for surgical follow up the next day. Because I was unable to attend possible appointments at my on post provider the next day, tricare told me I'd have to pay urgent care costs out of pocket, good luck, and good bye. Not dissimilar to a previous injury I received in May that required stitches, and for which tricare told me to suck it up and they could get me an appointment for stitches in 3-4 days. Took about an hour of back and forth (while bleeding), with two different people, to explain that I was still actively and uncontrollably bleeding and that stitches in half a week was not a medically sound option. As it seems with all things army, they go for the cheapest possible things they can get servicemen rather than any sort of quality.

3 weeks ago

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Jay M Kay Caro, MI

Tricare was fine until we fell under the east (Humana). They don’t have available providers in our area and kept changing our plan without permission. We were Active Duty Army and we have never been stuck with so many bills and bureaucracy. Tricare’s actions have help with my decision to never use them again in retirement and to make sure nobody else does either. There are better companies out there.

1 month ago

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Kelsey Klein Crestview, FL

My doctor prescribed me a medication and I was informed that I have to have a pre authorization for the medication. Tricare continuously denied the medication because they wanted me to try a cheaper medication first and say that I had an adverse effect to that medication before they would authorize the other medication. They told me to submit and appeal with the doctor writing the reason they wanted me on that specific medication instead of the one tricare prefers but pretty much said on the call that it really doesn’t matter what my doctor says, that the medication would not be approved until I have tried the other medication and had a reaction to it. I cannot believe they are trying to force me to use a medication that will not help and are continuing to stall any attempts my doctors and I are taking to better my health. This is the worst insurance I have ever dealt with. Tricare, do better.

2 months ago

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Matthew Spiess Missoula, MT

Will not cover my newborns medical bill because enrollment was 1 day over their policy due to the difficultly of obtaining the necessary birth records and visiting a DEERS station in rural Montana. CSR's claim nothing can be done and there isn't a supervisor to speak to. Thanks for nothing!

2 months ago

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Cassidy Rector Kansas City, MO

I would give ZERO stars if I could. I've never seen an insurance so IMPOSSIBLE to obtain. And $250 a month for 2 people? Absurd. So much for taking care of your soldiers. PRISONERS in a maximum security prison are taken care of better. Smh.

2 months ago

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De Anna Lee

Tricare changed my PCM without notification and has refused to pay out any expenses. I get one excuse after another, never the same story, in my weekly phone call to them. No biggie, just a potentially deadly issue, #SMlivesdon'tmatter

2 months ago

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carl lepar

Tricare west and express scripts is the worst thing to ever happen to the military, I have been trying to get a rx filled for 6 mo now and no success. I have to call the Dr, then express scripts, the tricare to get three different answers. Express scripts will approve the rx, then days later tricare denies it for some b.s formulary reason, and start the process all over. The worst system in the world and is now getting in the way of my treatment.

3 months ago

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Robert Wold

I tried to contact my daughters PCM to schedule a mandatory physical before she starts school next month. That doctor has a full schedule for the next two months so I found an alternate that accepts tricare. After contacting that office and setting up the appointment I was informed that I should contact tricare to confirm as they have had issues in the past with conflicting zip codes. Sophia, the representative I spoke with insisted that I could not get this type of appointment covered and that I needed to take her to an urgent care, get the physical done and have it billed as an office visit, or something to that effect. I asked to speak with someone who would not advise me to commit insurance fraud and I was passed on to a very rude woman who is supposed to contact me after the appointment but I do not have high hopes. Yeah, I get it we don't pay nearly as much for this as people with other plans but if they could put forth any less effort I would be amazed.

4 months ago

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Susan Solomon Plymouth, MA

As a provider, I won't take any new Tricare clients. Tricare denies claims for incorrect reasons and I, my client and my biller have repeatedly wasted time on the phone getting the incorrect claims corrected. Worse, the reps I've talked with openly acknowledged that other reps blatantly ignore the parameters of the client's policy when denying the benefits because, apparently, some Tricare reps "think it is up to their discretion." When I pointed out that an insurance policy with specific benefits and coverage is not up for debate or discretion, the reps completely agree, but that there is nothing they can do and I'll just have to keep calling back to get claims corrected. Too little accountability on Tricare's end and too much wasted time on mine = no more Tricare clients, unfortunately.

5 months ago

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Danielle Steckler Hawley, MN

Tricare is by far one of the most crooked insurance companies available. I have been with Tricare remote west under my still active soldier husband for 13 years and have had nothing but issues with in/out of network providers, ongoing claims that never get resolved, wrong coding’s, and horrible customer service.

3 months ago

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Hastral Yuma, AZ

Since this website is in the pocket of the insurance companies here is my revised review. Tricare are not borderline fascists on of the treat families with autism. Tricare will go out of their way to cancel your services without any warning and constantly make up new "ideas" to limit services that is in the best interests of the patients. Furthermore, any type of "Services” Tricare offers are locked behind nonsensical and unclear paperwork which is intuitive for consumer. If you are lucky to get an autism services representative for your child, they will disappear and inform you of nothing as it allows the patient to fend for themselves furthering self-reliance on a totally not discriminatory and flawed system. Tricare straight up bullied my sons ABA company until he was dropped as a client. Saving the glorious late stage capitalists in health care a few extra dollars. Tricare also hires people who have no idea what autism is, which is good since now they can claim proper disingenuous actions and methods. I confronted Tricare over the phone about their amazing transparency on their standard operating procedures and dropping my sons services without warning and was told "We make sure he still has autism" as we all know Autism is a spectrum and big health care businesses and insurance companies know what’s best. In conclusion Tricare's practices are not discriminatory methods of exclusion and hate against families with autism which is not disgusting and cowardly, glory to Tricare.

8 months ago Edited April 5, 2023

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Angee Fredericksburg, VA

Tricare should look for ways to help veterans more than just more paperwork. If someone has let's say knee surgery, the last thing they need is paperwork to justify physical therapy. Some things should be obvious to them if they are taking care of their clients who happen to be veterans. Something's should be automatic not a referral for everything. Maybe it doesn't dawn on them that people are hurting and making things more difficult isn't the way to assist veterans. This is a revised review because my first one had too much truth in it. Anyway maybe they'll post this one. If not there's always the Better Business Bureau. Processes should be getting better not worse. I've been retired for a while. USMC retired 15yrs.

8 months ago Edited April 3, 2023

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Hard to find a doctor that will take tricare. Impossible to find a dentist that will. Estimates from multiple different doctors offices for how much tricare should cover is always more than they actually pay, in one instance it was estimated that tricare would cover 100% only to learn they wouldn't cover any of it. Winni g the lottery is easier than finding a children's dentist that takes tricare.

8 months ago

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I have had negative experiences with their referrals department. They have repeatedly lost my referrals for cancer care in spite of the fact that I call them to check the status of them. My experience with them has been a nightmare. If you can acquire health insurance elsewhere, I strongly encourage you to.

7 months ago

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Jessica Woodward Bloomfield, CT

WORST insurance ever! If you have mental health issues you're better off figuring it out yourself vs. going to a hospital or you're jumping through a million hoops to get the bill covered! Ridiculous.. way to support your military and their families!

7 months 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 !

1 year 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.

1 year 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!

1 year 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!

1 year ago Edited March 29, 2022

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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 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 have no insurance and then they will give it to you for 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 tell me is this fair?

3 years ago

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Hiram Martinez

Worst insurance ever , been dealing for a medication since Feb and is May always an excuse 2 appeals mor infor mor doc and still waiting worst insurance ever about t cancel it

6 months 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.

1 year ago

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Susan DeBow Egg Harbor, NJ 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.

2 years 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.

2 years 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 .

2 years ago

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Marie Ingenere Alexandria, VA

Very crap insurrance. I can't get any medical care other than emergency suposedly because all the PCM are fully booked and they won't even let me transfer

7 months 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

1 year 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.

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.

1 year 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.

1 year ago