Tricare Select: Coverage Basics, Enrollment And Costs in 2023

Tricare Open Season 2022 is from Nov. 14 – Dec. 13, 2022. During open season, you can adjust your Tricare coverage, so it’s a great time to evaluate your plan to ensure it’s right for your situation and preferences.

Tricare Select is a military-sponsored health plan that suits those willing to pay more for flexibility and freedom of choice. 

If choosing your own care providers is an important feature, Tricare Select (including Select Overseas, Reserve Select and Young Adult Select) might be the logical choice for your family. Tricare announced its 2023 rates on Nov. 7.

Table of Contents
  1. What is Tricare Select?
  2. Tricare Select Top Five Facts You Need to Know
  3. Tricare Select Eligibility & Costs
    1. Am I Eligible for Tricare Select?
    2. Tricare Select: Higher Costs for Greater Freedom of Choice
    3. Tricare Select Enrollment Costs in 2023
    4. Tricare Select Deductubles in 2023
    5. Tricare Select Catastrophic Cap in 2023
  4. Tricare Select Enrollment Basics
  5. Tricare Select Enrollment Fees Now Required for Military Retirees
    1. How to Pay Your Enrollment Fees
    2. Who to Contact to Set up Your Enrollment Payments
  6. Important Tricare Select Resources
  7. Advantages and Disadvantages
    1. Tricare Select: Advantages
    2. Tricare Select: Disadvantages
  8. More Information on Tricare Select

What is Tricare Select?

Previously referred to as Tricare Standard, Select is the self-managed, preferred-provider Tricare option. Beneficiaries can choose authorized providers without consulting a primary care manager (PCM).

Out-of-pocket expenses are typically higher than with the Tricare Prime plan, but you can minimize them by seeing in-network providers. Enrollment fees for Tricare Select are generally lower than with Tricare Prime.

You can use non-network providers, though you must pay charges up-front and then file a claim requesting Tricare reimbursement.

Tricare Select Top Five Facts You Need to Know

  1. Freedom of Choice: Tricare Select beneficiaries can choose their providers, whether they’re in or out-of-network. 
  2. Available to All Non-Active-Duty Beneficiaries: While active-duty service members must use Tricare Prime, all other beneficiaries (retirees, veterans, and family members) can choose Tricare Select.
  3. Higher Costs than Tricare Prime: Costs include annual deductibles, catastrophic caps and co-payments. Tricare Select has lower enrollment costs than Tricare Prime.
  4. No Enrollment Fees for Active Duty Family Members: As with Tricare Prime, you don’t have to pay enrollment fees if your sponsor is on active duty.
  5. Does Not Require Primary Care Manager (PCM) Referrals: Unlike Tricare Prime, your PCM doesn’t have to refer you to see a specialist on Tricare Select. You can just go to see the doctor you need. 

Tricare Select Eligibility & Costs

As a current or former military member, you and your family may have several Tricare health plan options, including Tricare Select.

Am I Eligible for Tricare Select?

Tricare Select is available to all non-active-duty beneficiaries, including family members of active-duty service members, retirees and some veterans. 

Active-duty retirees are eligible for Tricare Select (as well as Tricare Prime) until they reach age 65 when they must transition to Tricare for Life.

Retired members of the National Guard or Reserves should look into these health care options until they reach 65 and are eligible for Tricare for Life.

Tricare Select: Higher Costs for Greater Freedom of Choice

With Tricare Select, you get greater flexibility in managing your health care, but you’ll have higher out-of-pocket costs. These costs include annual deductibles and higher caps for catastrophic expenses and co-payments. With some plans, such as Tricare Select for retirees, you’ll pay fewer enrollment fees with Tricare Select than with Tricare Prime.

Tricare Select Enrollment Costs in 2023

Active-duty family members pay no enrollment fees, but other categories of people eligible for Tricare Select must pay enrollment fees. Beneficiaries whose sponsor entered active duty before 2018 (Group A beneficiaries) pay $171.96 per individual or $345 per family in 2023. 

Beneficiaries whose sponsor entered active duty during or after 2018 (Group B beneficiaries) must pay an annual enrollment fee of $547.92 for individual coverage or $1,095.96 for family coverage.

For a complete Tricare Select cost breakdown, visit

Tricare Select Deductubles in 2023

Unlike Tricare Prime, Tricare Select has an annual deductible — money paid out-of-pocket before Tricare assumes costs. Deductibles range from $50 to $365 per individual and $100 to $730 per family, depending on status, rank and eligibility group.

Tricare Select Catastrophic Cap in 2023

The catastrophic cap – the maximum out-of-pocket amount that beneficiaries must pay for covered services under Tricare Select – ranges from $1,000 to $4,262 depending on status and eligibility group. This amount includes enrollment fees, deductibles and co-payments.

Tricare Select requires co-payments for visits to in-network and out-of-network providers. Co-pays for in-network primary care, specialist, or emergency services range from $18 to $365 depending on the covered service, active-duty vs. retiree status and eligibility group. 

You can cut out-of-pocket expenses under Tricare Select by choosing from in-network providers. You can find in-network providers in Tricare’s Find A Doctor portal.

Tricare Select Enrollment Basics

Non-active-duty beneficiaries (including active-duty family members) who enroll in Tricare Select must do so during Tricare Open Season or after a Qualifying Life Event. Tricare Open Season 2022 is from Nov. 14 – Dec. 13, 2022.

Enrollment is straightforward. Beneficiaries can enroll online, via phone or mail in all necessary enrollment forms.

Note: Children of active-duty servicemembers born abroad automatically have Tricare Select regardless of the parents’ existing plan. This means that parents must specifically request that their child be enrolled in Tricare Prime Oversees during DEERS registration if they prefer that.

According to the existing policy, parents have 90 days from the date of auto-enrollment to switch the child to Tricare Prime Overseas or Prime Remote.

Tricare Select Enrollment Fees Now Required for Military Retirees

Note: Military retirees in Beneficiary Group A are required to pay a monthly Tricare Select enrollment fee as of 2021. As of 2022, those rates are:

  • Individual plan: $171.96 per year ($14.33 per month)
  • Family plan: $345 per year ($28.75 per month)

How to Pay Your Enrollment Fees

The easiest way to pay your enrollment fees is by setting up an allotment from your retirement pay. Your payment will be automatically withdrawn from your retirement check each month. 

Note: As of 2022, a new policy requires retirees to pay for Tricare and related insurance (including dental and vision) via allotment from their retired pay “to the maximum extent practicable.” This is to streamline payments, reduce credit card fees and ensure health coverage continuity, according to the Aug. 1, 2022 policy.

If you can’t pay through allotment, you may make your enrollment payments via credit card, debit card transaction or bank withdrawal.

Who to Contact to Set up Your Enrollment Payments

Tricare East: Humana Military

Tricare West: Health Net

Tricare Overseas: International SOS

Important Tricare Select Resources

The regional contractors:

Advantages and Disadvantages

As with all health insurance options, Tricare Select has pros and cons.

Tricare Select: Advantages

  • Greatest Freedom of Choice: The greatest advantage of Tricare Select is the freedom of choice for beneficiaries to choose health care providers. 
  • Not Restricted to Military Treatment Facilities: Unlike Tricare Prime, which mandates that beneficiaries receive care at designated military treatment facilities where available, Tricare Select allows beneficiaries to see providers at civilian facilities.
  • Easier Access to Specialists: Under Tricare Select, beneficiaries can directly schedule appointments with specialists (either in-network or out-of-network) instead of obtaining referrals from their PCM.

Tricare Select: Disadvantages

  • More Expensive Option: The greater flexibility promised by Tricare Select comes at a cost with higher deductibles, co-pays and catastrophic caps.
  • May Have to Submit Claims: If beneficiaries opt to receive treatment from out-of-network network providers, they may have to pay up-front and subsequently file a claim for reimbursement.

More Information on Tricare Select

Check out our Tricare Reference Guide for more information on Tricare Prime and other Tricare programs, including reference information, contact numbers and helpful links. Find out more about the pros and cons of Tricare Prime vs. Select here.

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