The life of military service members can be quite tough and from the point of view of their family members, it’s even tougher as they have to deal with the feelings of anxiety as their loved one is away from home and also the stress of frequent relocations. However, regardless of all the downsides, there is no doubt that military members and their families are entitled to numerous benefits which help them lead happy and healthy lives. In order to get these benefits, they must also ensure they are done with the military verification process (which will be discussed in a while).
If you want to know the in-depth details of all the benefits that are provided to military families, including health care, keep reading this article!
How to Access the Military Benefits?
Whether you are a spouse or a child of a military service member, you can get all the benefits like health care and more by registering in the computerized database known as Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS).
Both active-duty and retired military service members automatically get registered in this portal, so they don’t have to register themselves. However, upon registering yourself in DEERS, you will get a military ID card that will help you in getting all the military benefits.
Health Benefits for Active Military Members and Their Families
Before getting to know the other kinds of benefits that you and your family can receive from the state, let’s take a look at the health benefits offered to military members and their family members.
The health benefits that are given to military members and their families are under the program called Tricare. It’s not an insurance program, but it operates in a similar way to help you and your family pay off medical bills.
You can get treatment under Tricare either at the military treatment facility (on a base) or at the civil health care provider which is contracted by the U.S. Department of Defense.
Who is Eligible for Tricare?
The ones who are eligible to get health benefits by Tricare are current military members and members of the National Guard and Reserve. The family members of these individuals are also eligible to avail of the services, however, it’s a must for them to be registered in DEERS.
Former spouses and surviving family members of the departed military members and members of the National Guard and Reserve are also eligible for Tricare.
You can avail a few of the health care plans on the basis of the military members’ and National Guard and Reserve members’ status and duty station. There are several different healthcare plans offered by the Tricare program as listed below:
Tricare Prime: It is a Tricare plan which is available internationally and features a limited number of service providers.
Tricare Prime Remote: Tricare prime remote plan is available in the fifty states of the USA. In order to be eligible for it, the eligible service members must be residing and working more than 50 miles from the closest Military Treatment Facility.
Tricare Prime Overseas: This Tricare plan is quite similar to the Tricare prime plan in its nature.
Tricare Prime Remote Overseas: This plan is also similar to the Tricare prime overseas plan but the services you receive will be provided by foreigners, and you must be located in remote overseas locations at the time of your service.
Tricare Select: It is a very flexible plan that allows eligible members to avail services from any authorized health care provider.
Tricare Young Adult: Children who grow out of the regular Tricare plan are eligible for this plan.
U.S. Family Health Plan: This healthcare plan is available for eligible members who reside close to certain civilian medical facilities.
Dental Benefits: There are two kinds of dental benefits that are offered by the Tricare plan such as the Tricare Active Duty Dental Program and Tricare Dental Program which are offered to the eligible military members.
Eye Care Benefits: Although the essential vision benefits can be availed by the other regular Tricare programs, you can still enroll in this vision benefit program.
Pharmacy Benefits: The Tricare Pharmacy Program delivers you prescription medicines in a convenient and economical way.
Are the Healthcare Benefits Free For Military Families?
National Guard and Reserves service members’ family members can sign-up for a premium-based plan for a more cost-effective solution. Whereas, on the other hand, the family members of current military service members can get most of their healthcare free.
What Benefits Other Than Healthcare Are Available For Military Families?
Families of military service members are not only entitled to the healthcare benefits, but they can also avail of other benefits as well.
Several scholarship organizations offer scholarships to military spouses and their dependents to help them cover their college tuition fees and other education-related costs.
Moreover, spouses of military members may also receive up to $4,000 for educational and job support.
Goods and Services
As military family members can easily access the commissaries and exchange stores located at the base, they can avail themselves of household goods and groceries at a very cheap price. All you have to do is to show your military ID card.
You can also avail amazing discounts on recreational activities such as bowling, libraries, movie cinemas, and more.
With the help of a military ID card, you can get the advantage of the discounts offered by private organizations to military members and their families. Whether you are out for shopping or fine dining, make sure to ask them if they have special discounts for military members.
Military Child Care
The services of childcare are also available at the base as you can find many child care centers and even an in-home daycare facility at a reduced price. In case you don’t have any daycare in the base, or you don’t live in a base, you will still be financially supported by the military for using the civilian daycares near your residency.