TRICARE is proud to have met and exceeded most of the national health reform provisions before the law was passed, and in 2011, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) authorized the Department of Defense to offer similar benefits to young adults under TRICARE. The Affordable Care Act has changed the guidelines for keeping America’s youth healthy, and TRICARE Young Adult (TYA) has plenty of great options for post adolescents from 21 years of age up to the age of 26.
The Affordable Care Act requires all individuals to have health insurance or other coverage that is considered “minimum essential coverage”. TYA provides medical and pharmacy benefits, and meets the minimum essential coverage requirement. Potential beneficiaries need to speak with their sponsor to see if they are eligible for the program. TYA is available to young adults who are:
Dependent of TRICARE-eligible unformed service sponsor
At least 21 years of age, or 23 years of age if previously enrolled as a full-time college student and the sponsor provides over 50 percent of the beneficiary’s financial support. The beneficiary must not have reached the age of 26.
To participate in TYA, beneficiaries are required to pay monthly premiums. The plan option and sponsor’s military status determine what covered services will cost. TYA costs are also based on whether the sponsor has TRICARE Prime or Standard (2014 premiums are $180 for TYA Prime and $156 for TYA Standard) and where care is received.
Eligible dependents that select TYA need to submit a TRICARE Young Adult Application (DD Form 2947) along with two months of premium payments. Completed applications can be faxed or mailed to the regional contractor specified on the form.
TYA cannot be purchased if the young adult is married, eligible for another TRICARE program or eligible for an employer-sponsored health plan.
Ensuring that young adults are insured is a serious matter and TYA is a great option for unmarried, adult children who "age out" of regular TRICARE coverage. Complete information and application forms are available at www.tricare.mil/TYA.