This blog is the most recent in a series helping members of the Coast Guard family understand how to use their TRICARE benefits. The blog series will continue every Monday, right here on Coast Guard All Hands.
Written by Cmdr. Paul Fawcett
Separating from the service can be a busy and confusing time with many questions about what your benefits are and where to find out information about them. Depending on your circumstances, you may be eligible for TRICARE coverage for a temporary or permanent period. The below information may help you determine if you are eligible.
Transitional Assistance Management Program (TAMP): If you are separating from service and are not retirement eligible you may be eligible for TAMP. To be eligible for TAMP you must meet one of the following criteria:
- Involuntary separation under honorable conditions
- Coast Guard reserve members separating after a period of active duty for 30 consecutive days or more in support of a contingency operation. Contingency operations include natural disaster responses such as hurricanes or floods, war or defense contingencies such as Operation Iraqi Freedom or Enduring Freedom, or manmade disasters such as oil spills or marine safety contingencies.
- Active duty members separating after volunteering to remain on active duty for less than a year for contingency support.
TAMP covers both the member and their eligible dependents and extends for 180 days, with the last day of service as the start date. TAMP coverage allows the member and dependents TRICARE coverage without enrollment fees for the period of eligibility. The same Prime and Standard plans that were available to active duty members are also available while on TAMP.
Continued Health Care Benefit Program (CHCBP): CHCBP is a premium based program that transitioning service members can purchase to cover the period between TRICARE and civilian insurance. Some key facts:
- CHCBP may be purchased for 18 months – 36 months depending on your category.
- CHCBP provides TRICARE Standard like coverage, including prescription coverage, meaning that copays are in effect for services, but expanded choice of providers is available.
- If you are interested in purchasing TAMP you must purchase within 60 days of your loss of eligibility, otherwise you are not eligible for the program.
- Your nature of service must be categorized as honorable or general.
TRICARE Retired Reserve (TRR): TRR is the program for “gray area” retirees who have achieved eligibility for retirement and are not yet 60 years of age. Monthly premiums and an annual deductable apply. Members may participate in the TRR program until they reach the RET-2 category at age 60 when they become eligible for TRICARE for Life.
Terminal Leave: You’re covered by TRICARE until 2400 of your last day of service, including your terminal leave. You won’t need to purchase additional insurance during this period.
For assistance with health benefits, Coast Guard members and their dependents can contact 1-800-9-HBA-HBA or email CGHBA@uscg.mil.
Q: Where can I get more information regarding TAMP:
Q: I think I may be eligible for TAMP but I’m not sure, who should I contact?
A: Your eligibility determination is based on a personnel decision regarding the nature of your service. You should start with your servicing personnel office to determine if you were on a contingency response or if other factors apply.
Q: I’m not eligible for TRICARE and TAMP but I believe I may be eligible for Veteran’s Affairs (VA) benefits. Who should I contact?
A: You may visit a VA Regional Office (VARO) in your area, or you may visit the VA website at http://www.va.gov/health/.
Have more questions about your TRICARE benefits? Leave a note in the comments below!