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Get Ready for PCS Season With TRICARE

Will you be embarking on a permanent change of station (PCS) this summer? If so, you aren’t alone. Summer is a time of transition for military families with PCS orders.

Whether you’re moving to another state or relocating overseas, there are important steps you need to take to ensure a smooth PCS move. One of them is making sure you have TRICARE coverage in your new location

Listed below are some tips and questions to think about, so you can stay a step ahead of your move.


What health plans are available in your new location?

You may have different health plan options when you move. If you’re an active duty service member moving stateside, you must have either TRICARE Prime or TRICARE Prime Remote. Your eligible family members, however, may have additional options, such as TRICARE Select or US Family Health Plan.

Moving overseas? If command-sponsored, active duty family members can enroll in TRICARE Prime Overseas or TRICARE Prime Remote Overseas.

If you’re retired, you and your family members may be eligible for TRICARE Select Overseas.


Do you need to fill prescriptions or schedule routine exams?


It’s important to anticipate your medical needs for the move itself in the short-term, as well as what you’ll need long-term once you’ve settled in.

Fill your prescriptions to make sure you have enough medication to last throughout your move and immediately after.

Schedule routine physicals or immunizations before the move.


Will you need to transfer your medical records?


Transferring your medical records will help the transition to a new provider. So, ask for copies of your medical and dental records before you move.

You may even want to have these documents with you for safe keeping and easy access when moving. If you’re enrolled to a military hospital or clinic, your electronic medical records will transfer to your new duty station.

Your new military hospital or clinic, PCM, or family doctor may also request copies of your medical records for you. If you have questions about how to start the transfer process, reach out to your medical provider or TRICARE contractor.


Update your DEERS records

Your records must be up-to-date in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) to use TRICARE. As outlined in the TRICARE Qualifying Life Events Fact Sheet, you’ll need to update DEERS with your new address and contact information whenever you experience a QLE, such as moving.

If you start with a temporary address at your new location, you must go back and update DEERS once you have your permanent address.

Any changes you make to your health plan will go into effect after your address change shows in DEERS. Remember, DEERS doesn’t transfer your TRICARE enrollment.


Don’t disenroll from your current plan before you PCS

Your TRICARE contractor can’t complete your enrollment transfer until you arrive at your new location. So, it’s important that you don’t disenroll from your plan before you move.

This ensures you’re covered for any care you need while traveling to your destination. If you disenroll before you move, you’ll only be able to get care at a military hospital or clinic if space is available.


When do you notify your new regional contractor of your arrival?


Once you’ve finally arrived at your new location, contact the TRICARE contractor for your new region. They’ll transfer your previous coverage to your new location, if necessary.

Your contractor won’t change if you’re moving within the same region. But you may need to find another PCM or health care provider.

If you’re overseas, your TRICARE Overseas Program Regional Call Center in your new location can assist you with setting up care.

 *Visit the TRICARE Moving page to learn how TRICARE moves with you.





*For more articles like this, check out the Mission:Milspouse Homepage.




  • Defense Health Agency

    The Defense Health Agency is a joint, integrated Combat Support Agency that enables the Army, Navy, and Air Force medical services to provide a medically ready force and ready medical force to Combatant Commands in both peacetime and wartime. Their mission is to provide a medical benefit commensurate with the service and sacrifice of more than 9.6 million active duty personnel, military retirees and their families.


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Supporting Our Military Children

Supporting Our Military Children

One thing that has been most important to me, as a military spouse, is figuring out how to best do this life while supporting our children with the changes and difficulties. When my children were very small, there were many times that my husband was away, and I had to parent my children alone.

Mission: Milspouse is a
501(c)3 nonprofit organization.

EIN Number: 88-1604492


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