By TRICARE Communications
FALLS CHURCH, Va. – We’re less than a month away from TRICARE Open Season. That means it’s time to start thinking about your and your family’s health care needs for next year. Are you planning to make changes to your TRICARE plan? Will you be enrolling in a new plan for the first time or staying in the plan you already have? Regardless of your situation, make sure you show up as eligible for TRICARE in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS).
“Showing that you’re eligible for TRICARE in DEERS and keeping your information updated are essential steps for obtaining and maintaining TRICARE coverage,” said Jeremy Schneider, a program analyst with TRICARE Policy and Programs at the Defense Health Agency. “Please see your local ID card office if you believe eligibility information in DEERS is incorrect.”
What is DEERS?
DEERS is a database of active duty and retired service members, their family members, and others who are eligible for TRICARE. The database lists your military status, family status, contact information, TRICARE plan, and more. Sponsors are automatically registered in DEERS. Your uniformed service determines your eligibility and records it in DEERS, as described in the TRICARE Plans Overview. But as a sponsor, you must add your eligible family members to DEERS. If you’re a family member who’s age 18 or older, you may update your own contact information.
When should I update DEERS?
It’s always good to review your personal information in DEERS before the start of TRICARE Open Season, so you don’t miss important communications and enrollment deadlines. But, keep in mind, you should be updating your DEERS record anytime you have a Qualifying Life Event.
“Anytime you or a family member experiences a life event, like retiring or separating from active duty, marriage, having a baby, moving, or another situation, you’ll need to update your information in DEERS,” added Schneider.
What kind of information might you need to update in DEERS? It can be things like your phone number, email address, home address, or marital status. Or you may need to register a family member if you’re a sponsor. Keeping information up-to-date in DEERS will help you and your family access your TRICARE benefit and get the care you need.
How do I update DEERS?
Updating your DEERS information is quick and easy. You have a few options to choose from:
- Online: Log in to milConnect
- Phone: Call 1-800-538-9552 (TTY/TDD: 1-866-363-2883) or fax updates to 1-800-336-4416
- In person: Visit a local RAPIDS ID Card Office (Note: Call or check the website for operating hours and COVID-19 procedures)
- Mail: Mail updates to:
Defense Manpower Data Center Support Office
400 Gigling Road
Seaside, CA 93955-6771
Once you’ve registered in DEERS and updated your records, you’re ready to start exploring TRICARE health plans. This year’s open season runs from Monday, Nov. 8, until Monday, Dec. 13. Open season doesn’t apply to all health plans. Visit TRICARE Open Season to learn more about your options. For more on updating DEERS, visit the DEERS page.