TRICARE Young Adult (TYA) is now open for enrollment with coverage beginning 1 MAY 2011. Uniformed services dependents under 26, unmarried, and not eligible for their own employer-sponsored health care coverage may be qualified to purchase TYA, which offers TRICARE Standard coverage for monthly premiums of $186. A premium-based TRICARE Prime benefit will be available later this year. Dependent eligibility for TRICARE previously ended at age 21, or age 23 for full-time college students. Similar to provisions in the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, TYA extends the opportunity for young adults to continue TRICARE health care coverage, as long as their sponsor is still eligible for TRICARE. Complete information and application forms are available at http://www.tricare.mil/tya. TRICARE officials encourage beneficiaries to explore all possible health care plan options and costs when choosing a plan that best meets their needs.
Those considering TYA should determine if they are eligible before completing and sending in an application. The application and payment of three months of premiums can be dropped off at a TRICARE Service Center or sent by mail or faxed directly to the appropriate regional health care contractor. Beneficiaries can find out where to send their form and payment by filling out the simple profile at http://www.tricare.mil to get information tailored to their 4specific location. Once the initial payment is made, monthly premiums must be paid in advance through automated electronic payment. When the application is processed, TRICARE coverage will begin the first day of the following month. However, since TYA was ?fast-tracked? to begin enrollment as soon as systems changes, forms, premiums and other rules governing the program were approved and in place, TRICARE Management Activity will allow eligible applicants to be covered for the full month of May as long as enrollment forms and payment are received (not postmarked) by the regional contractor prior to 31 MAY.Those eligible for TYA who have been saving receipts since 1 JAN 2011, in anticipation of the new program, can also pay all premiums back to January to purchase coverage retroactively. After getting a welcome letter and enrollment card, dependents and their sponsor are encouraged to visit uniformed services identification (ID) card issuing facility to obtain a dependent ID card. The card will assist in identifying the dependent as eligible for health care, prescriptions and access to military installations. Nearby ID card facilities can be found through a link at http://www.tricare.mil/tya. The signing of the National Defense Authorization Act in JAN 2011, brought TRICARE in line with the provisions of the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and enabled the extension of excellent TRICARE coverage to this new group. The TRICARE Management Activity appreciates all government partners who helped make this benefit available so quickly. [Source: TREA Washington Update 29 Apr 2011 ++]