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Pre-Activation/Early Benefits

National Guard and Reserve members who are issued delayed effective date active duty orders for more than 30 consecutive days for a pre-planned mission or in support of a contingency operation may be eligible for TRICARE prior to activation. Pre-activation benefits include TRICARE medical, mental health, pharmacy, and dental for you and your family members.

Eligibility begins on the date your orders are issued or 180 days before you report to active duty, whichever is later and will continue with no break in coverage when active duty service begins. Your service personnel office determines eligibility for pre-activation benefits. If you have questions regarding your eligibility, contact your unit personnel office using the contact information on your activation orders.

In the event activation orders are canceled for whatever reason, TRICARE coverage will end effective on the cancelation date. Any TRICARE-covered services received during the pre-activation period reflected on the orders will be covered.

Learn more about pre-activation benefits on the TRICARE website.

Active Duty Service Members

If you reside within 50 miles or a one-hour drive time of a military hospital or clinic, you can enroll in TRICARE Prime and seek care at that facility.

If you reside outside of 50 miles or a one-hour drive time of a military hospital or clinic, you will not enroll in a TRICARE plan until you reach your final duty station. Although you are not enrolled, you may seek routine care from a network provider. Specialty care must be prior authorized and can coordinated through a military hospital or clinic, with the Defense Health Agency – Great Lakes (DHA-GL) or by contacting Health Net Federal Services, LLC at 1-844-866-WEST (9378), Monday through Friday, 5:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m. (PT).

Family Members

When eligibility begins, you will automatically be enrolled in TRICARE Prime or TRICARE Select based on your drive time to a prime service area (PSA). Young adult family members who are under age 26 and have aged out of TRICARE at age 21 or age 23 if a full-time college student, may purchase coverage under TRICARE Young Adult.