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CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — Military families with students soon off to college are being reminded their children are eligible for Tricare coverage.

Military dependents who are full-time students can be covered under the military health care system up to age 23, Arlita McClintock, Okinawa Tricare marketing representative, stated in a news release.

While all eligible students are covered until age 21, Tricare coverage can be extended until students turn 23 or graduate, whichever comes first, according to the Tricare Web site, www.tricare.osd.mil.

But to be eligible, students older than 21 must be enrolled full-time at an accredited institution and have more than 50 percent of their financial support provided by their sponsors.

Eligible students would be covered by one of Tricare’s categories wherever they attend college, McClintock said.

If a physician in the area accepts the Tricare prime insurance plan, which has the lowest out-of-pocket costs, a student still may be able to enroll in that option, said Mystie Wahl, with Tricare on Okinawa. Absent such a network provider, the student would have to enroll in Tricare standard, she said. Tricare standard offers the widest array of provider choices among Tricare options, she said, but its deductibles and co-payments cost individuals more.

McClintock recommended supplemental insurance to help cover expenses for students who enroll in the standard plan.

Wahl said the Tricare standard plan normally pays for 80 percent of covered charges and levies deductibles of $300 per family E-5 and above and $100 per family E-4 and below.

She also stressed the importance of making certain that when an eligible student moves, insurance coverage is switched to the new Tricare region.

“The student would be covered if they needed emergency care,” Wahl said. “But routine care is not covered if they’re not switched over in the system.”

McClintock said parents also must remember to switch care to the region in which they live if the student returns for the summer, although visits of less than 30 days fall under Tricare’s travel rules.

When filing a claim, she added, beneficiaries must notify the claims processor if the family has split enrollment.

Visit www.tricare.osd.mil for more information on Tricare for college students.


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