Q. I’m an active duty service member; may I use other health insurance?
A. The Department of Defense is solely responsible for the cost of care provided to active duty service members. If you have other health insurance, the DOD is still the primary payer (double coverage provisions don’t apply).
As an active duty service member, you must get all your medical care including behavioral health care and dental care per TRICARE policy and service regulations. If you get non-emergency care without prior authorization, your care may not be paid for by the government. Depending on the service regulations, it may lead to judicial and administrative actions, which may affect your continued fitness for duty or disability determinations.
Below are some things you may want to think about when deciding to use other health insurance.
• Your uniformed service may deny benefits you would normally be entitled to if you get unauthorized care that:
• Leads to a long hospitalization;
• Makes you unfit for duty; or
• Results in death.
• You may have to pay for any follow-up care that you need because of services you received when using your other health insurance.
• Since the DOD is the primary payer, you should check to see if your other health insurance will accept the responsibility as the primary payer if you get care that’s not covered by the DOD. If your other health insurance won’t accept responsibility, you may be responsible for the cost of the services you received.
• Certain procedures (e.g. bariatric surgery) may be grounds for separation.
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