You Ask, MOAA Answers: TRICARE and Transition

You Ask, MOAA Answers: TRICARE and Transition

Editor’s Note: This article is part of MOAA’s 2020-21 TRICARE Guide, brought to you by MOAA Insurance Plans, administered by Association Member Benefits Advisors (AMBA). A version of the guide appeared in the November 2020 issue of Military Officer magazine.


By MOAA Staff

Welcome to another installment of “You Ask, MOAA Answers” where we discuss some of the most commonly asked member questions. This video is brought to you by MOAA Insurance Plans, administered by Association Member Benefits Advisors (AMBA). Make the most out of your MOAA member benefits and prepare for the future by going to

When you retire from active duty, your health care options will change. Don’t be caught off guard. Make sure you understand how to move forward, and how to maximize your benefits if you’re pursuing a second career. Let’s get started.


[MOAA's TRICARE GUIDE: What Happens When I Retire?]


Q. What steps must I complete when transitioning from active duty to retiree?

A. Once you’ve decided which TRICARE program works best for your family, and your status has been updated to “retired” in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System, or DEERS, you need to contact the specific contractor that manages the program in your area.

You can enroll online, via telephone, or through the U.S. mail. You can either pay monthly, quarterly or the full annual amount up front. Get details at


Q. How does my pharmacy benefit change in retirement?

A. There’s still no cost for you or your dependents to fill prescriptions at military pharmacies, but after you retire, you will have a co-pay when filling prescriptions via commercial pharmacies or home delivery through Express Scripts. Co-pays vary based on if your plan is Formulary or Non-Formulary, if the drug is brand or generic, and how the prescription is filled.


[RELATED: 2021 FEDVIP Pricing Schedules Released


Q. What about dental and vision coverage?

The Federal Employee Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP) is the dental and vision program for service retirees and their families. The Tricare Retiree Dental Program ended in 2018.

Compare plans carefully and find the one that suits you and your family. Many retired servicemembers use plans offered by their new employer.


Q. What is a Qualifying Life Event?

A. You’ve probably heard it called “QLE” – it’s an event that allows you to change your coverage outside of Open Season. A move, a marriage, a divorce … these are typical examples, but far from the whole list. Please remember: TRICARE QLEs and FEDVIP QLEs aren’t the same. Search “QLE” at either or for the list you need. 



Q. What if I have additional questions?

A. Understanding all the nuances of health care can be tricky. MOAA has subject-matter experts on hand to assist Premium and Life Members. Call  (800) 234-6622 or email and we can properly direct you to assistance.

If you have coverage-related questions, or questions about medical services, it is best to contact your health care service provider directly.


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