Tricare Supplemental Insurance

I love Tricare – I think it is great insurance.  However, there are times when Tricare doesn’t cover all your costs, expecially if you are a retiree or using Tricare Standard.  As a result, several companies and organizations offer Tricare supplemental insurance policies.   A Tricare supplemental insurance policy covers some or all of the remaining costs after Tricare pays medical claims.   While the details differ amongst the various policies, they can be a great tool in your overall insurance plan.

Who Needs A Supplement?

Each situation is different, but generally a supplement can be financially beneficial to retirees whose only health insurance is Tricare.  Some active duty families who do not use Tricare Prime may also find a supplement worthwhile.  If you have other health insurance, such as employer-provided insurance, in addition to your Tricare coverage, you probably don’t need a Tricare supplement.

Where Do I Buy A Tricare Supplement?

If you do an internet search on “Tricare supplement,” many choices will come up.  Most are offered by military organizations who contract an insurance company to provide coverage.  The Federal Publishing group offers a good chart that shows the various offering groups and their costs.

How Do I Know Which Company To Use?

Be sure to get a copy of the potential policy from several groups to see which coverage will best fit your family’s needs.  Check things pre-existing condition coverage, deductibles, and maximum benefit limits.  The Tricare website has an excellent list of questions to ask about any supplemental insurance policy.  Be sure that the policy specifically states that this is a Tricare supplemental policy to ensure that Tricare will pay before the supplement.

Changes to Retiree Tricare Prime

On 1 October 2013, more than 17,000 military retirees and their family members will lose their Tricare Prime coverage and need to move to Tricare Standard .  As a result, their out-of-pocket medical costs will increase.  If you are one of the people affected by this change, you should seriously consider whether a Tricare supplement is a good choice for you.

If you regularly incur out-of-pocket medical costs with your current insurance plan(s), and you use Tricare for part or all of your insurance coverage, you may find that a Tricare supplemental insurance policy will help you decrease your costs.  Look into this coverage to see if it will work out well for you and your family.

About the Author

Kate Horrell
Kate Horrell is a military financial coach, mom of four teens, and Navy spouse. She has a background in taxes and mortgage banking, and a trove of experience helping other military families with their money. Follow her on twitter @realKateHorrell.

22 Comments on "Tricare Supplemental Insurance"

  1. I have Tricare Standard as a Primary insurance. With no other insurance except I have a ASI supplemental insurance, Tricare denied coverage on my claim because I had "insurance". The form apparently doesn't ask if the insurance is a primary or supplemental insurance. How can I prevented Trcare from automatically reject my claim the next time this happens . I had 2 claims rejectioned this week because of the explanation I had other insurance!

  2. Brian Clark | June 20, 2013 at 4:29 pm |

    I was discharged over 42 years ago and I received a general discharge. How do I go back to get an honorable discharge now. Can anyone help me?

  3. 17,000 how about a 171,000 were affected! I highly doubt that's an accurate number it's was DOD that supplied the higher number. The forty mile distance is another farce. Look up Mcdill AFB and then Sarasota fl definitely not forty miles. Our Tricare supplied list of providers that accept Tricare standard has a doctor who's dead, four that no longer have a practice, six that don't accept Tricare. Almost identical to the list I received 7 years ago.

  4. Are there ANY supplemental insurances for Tricare in the state of WA? I cannot find any.

  5. A big "thanks" to John McCain for taking Prime coverage away from retirees such as myself. And he calls himself a fellow vet. smh

  6. I lost my Tricare Prime coverage and was reduced to Tricare Standard. I was informed by letter that it was just in my area, Wilmington, NC. I am currently looking into get supplemental insurance. Any suggestions?

  7. I live in the Hampton Roads VA area. I used TRICARE STD with ASI insurance for a number of years for about $60 a month for wife and myself. I was real happy with it as most major medical provider groups accept both insurances. Now at 65+ we pay $270 a month for our medicare and Tricare for life. TRICARE STD and ASI was a great deal.

  8. We have two homes, one within Tricare Prime, which we are currently enrolled in with old address, but moved, mother in old home, and a new home where only Tricare standard is offered. Is it okay to use old home address and stay in Tricare Prime? Still using old doctors with Tricare Prime. Should we switch to new address, and add a Tricare supplement? How do billings, payments operate under standard and supplements?

  9. What happened to Tricare not getting affected by all the Obomacare crap? As soon as Obomacare was passed Tricare went to crap. My wife has many illnesses and the doctor bills are putting me in the poor house. Was good on Prime but Standard Is killing us financially!!!

  10. That is what happened to us. It is funny that only the southeast region was dropped from Prime. I guess they don't like how we vote. I am trying to find a good supplement too. I have narrowed it down to United Healthcare and ASI. Does anyone know if you pay up front and then are reimbursed or will they pay the doctor/hospital directly? I just had surgery and the bills are breaking us.

  11. asi will send you a statement of what they have paid and what you owe.
    But they are pretty good..
    Good luck

  12. Can someone help ,I need a supplemental ins.I have tricare standard,but I’m not sure which supplmental would be the best.I’v heard about ASI and United Health Care,has anyone used these.My husband is 100% disabled from U.S.M.C. medically retired ,so he’s completley covered.I really havnt used tricare that much until recently ,getting older now and seeing a lot of Dr. bills,so I need help.

  13. I use ASI along with Tricare Standard I am a widow of a retired USAF officer. I pay $67 a month for the ASI. It covers everything Tricare doesn't. The best part from me is the drug coverage since many of my medications are the non-formulary which cost $44 a month. Without ASI my out of pocket medication would be about $300. They cover it all. The pharmacy won't file the supplement but it is very easy–I just send in my receipts with the form and a week later I get a check. The doctor and hospital file with ASI. It is a tremendous savings for me. I am just worried what is going to happen when I have to switch to Tricare for Life–I don't know if I will be able to keep the ASI does anyone know?

  14. Kathy O'Brien | March 3, 2014 at 2:46 pm |

    What supplement is good for both retiree and spouse together?

  15. My husband is 100% disabled Vet and we have been using Tri-Care Standard for years. Now that we are turning 65 and do not have the
    quarters to be eligible for Medicare my supplement is dropping me
    his ASI is keeping him. Does anyone know of a supplement that will cover me?

  16. With Medicare A & B and taking TRICARE for Life do I need a supplemental

  17. I'm confused. Is there, or isn't there some kind of supplemental insurance for those of us who lost Prime and were forced into Tricare Standard/Extra?

    What is ASI everyone keeps mentioning?

    I'm also concerned about Kathy's comment about saying she had supplemental insurance, and then Tricare denied her claim because she had "insurance".

    That also makes it all sound unreliable.

    To the individual that thinks it was just the Southeast region that lost Prime… I'm Northwest and I lost it. I do believe it hit everyone, everywhere – – hard.

  18. I'm Prime and live less than 2 miles from a provider that I used with Prime for years. Tricare informed me that I can no longer use my trusted local PCM, My new PCM is roughly 40+ miles away. The most effective way to reduce Prime members is to limit the PCM network, forcing vets to Standard and subsequently a Standard Supplement. It's only a matter of time before Prime disappears all together.

  19. Rob Blanchard | July 15, 2014 at 2:11 pm |

    What about supplemental insurance for 100% service connected disabled vets that have retired with 20 years of service and were dropped from Tricare Prime to standard.

  20. Glen Baldridge | August 28, 2014 at 10:25 pm |

    I am a retiree living in Germany, I am forced to take my retirement pay and purchase a primary insurance, that cost 650 dollars per month. I have a $$ deductible per year, and I have applied numerous times to Tri-car for refunds, and every time it is denied. This is another reason the US Government is contracting a company to provide a service to support the service member and it does not happen.

  21. Never chose Prime as it was much too expensive and not a fan of HMO's. Stayed with Standard/Extra. Obtained a supplement through Military Benefit Association. Also, chose the plan that had a deductible override which means for a bit extra per month they pay the deductible (not sure if they still offer it). Have been with them since 2002 and no complaints. If Tricare covers it they seem to, although we have had no major medical issues. Our policy covers the veteran and spouse.

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