TRICARE coverage is offered to active duty personnel, reservists, retirees, and dependents. Health care options vary depending on the coverage you choose for yourself and any eligible family members. However, is TRICARE offered to visitors in Europe?
Establishing TRICARE Eligibility
In order to qualify for health care in Europe, you must be TRICARE eligible, meaning you must fall into the right category (active duty, dependent or retiree). According to TRICARE, routine and emergent care is authorised for visitors at the military treatment facility (MTF).
Host Nation Providers
Active duty personnel who seek routine treatment outside the MTF will need to obtain prior authorisation from their local TRICARE Service Centre before they will be able to obtain treatment. TRICARE beneficiaries who are registered in TRICARE in the CONUS can seek emergency or authorised non-emergency care from the host nation while in Europe.
However, if you seek treatment from a host nation provider, you should be prepared to pay upfront for treatment and then file a claim with TRICARE for reimbursement with the claims processor when you return home. TRICARE beneficiaries who require medical treatment but are unable to pay for treatment should contact their TRICARE Service Centre right away for assistance.
Options when You Are Not TRICARE Eligible
Only TRICARE eligible beneficiaries will be seen at a European-based MTF. That means visiting friends and family who need medical treatment will have to make arrangements with a host nation provider to receive medical treatment and services. Friends and family should be well prepared before they leave for Europe, particularly if they have a pre-existing health complaint that requires frequent attention. Payment will usually be required upfront when using a host nation provider in Europe. They should take out adequate health insurance to help cover the costs of medical treatment in Europe.
During an emergency situation, the MTF may offer treatment to patients who are not TRICARE eligible. However, the patient will be responsible for paying for all expenses incurred. These include medical care and travel costs to the hospital at the MTF.
TRICARE coverage is offered to TRICARE eligible visitors in Europe. However, if you have friends or family visiting you in Europe who do not qualify for TRICARE coverage, they will not be covered by TRICARE. They will need to take out health insurance prior to travel and make use of the host nation health care. The MTF will only render assistance during an emergency situation. If that occurs, the patient will be solely responsible for all costs incurred.
TRICARE Europe, Senior Enlisted Liaison.