Reservists offered coverage

By Brian P. Smith: TriWest Healthcare Alliance

When National Guard or Reserve sponsors are not on active duty, they may be eligible for healthcare coverage by purchasing and enrolling in TRICARE Reserve Select (TRS).

TRICARE Reserve Select

TRS includes medical and behavioral health coverage and access to TRICARE pharmacy benefits. TRS allows enrollees to choose any TRICARE-authorized or network provider for health care. TriWest Healthcare Alliance, the Department of Defense contractor that administers TRICARE in 21 western states, offers a directory of network providers at www.triwest.com.

Information about the TRS plan and TRICARE benefits can be found at TriWest’s Guard and Reserve Resource Center (www.triwest.com/ngr).

Costs

As part of the TRS enrollment, a premium payment is due to TriWest each month — $47.51 for individual coverage and $180.17 for family coverage. TRICARE cost information can be found at www.tricare.mil/costs.

Becoming eligible

The sponsor’s unit or service certifies TRICARE eligibility. Family members must be entered into the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) before they are eligible for any TRICARE benefits. Sponsors who are eligible for or enrolled in a Federal Employees Health Benefits plan are not eligible for TRS coverage.

Qualify and Enroll

The TRS enrollment process begins at the National Guard and Reserve Web Portal (https://www.dmdc.osd.mil/appj/trs/index.jsp). Fill out the application online and print a copy. Sign the completed form and send (mail to TriWest Healthcare Alliance, P.O. Box 42048, Phoenix, AZ 85080-2048 or fax to 1-866-441-8843) it with the first month’s premium payment to TriWest. TRS coverage can be purchased at any time.