Sep 24 2008
Yes, there it is on the back of your card, in the Medical block, under “EXP DATE.” Before Tricare for Life, the expiration date indicated when you dropped off the Tricare Prime or Standard rolls upon turning age 65. But now we have Tricare For Life for folks 65 and over and the expiration date still exists.
The processes used for issuing military ID cards do not allow for an “indefinite” or blank input in the expiration block. The costs for changing the systems are prohibitive. So a date will continue to be printed for the foreseeable future as the DOD hashes out the options.
The DOD Tricare Management Activity is aware of the issue and has passed the word to all contracted health providers and military treatment facilities. These agencies have been told to not pay as much attention to the ID card as to their on-line DEERS eligibility systems. DEERS has your most current eligibility information.
Of course being a very large organization, the health service community, someone will not get the word and occasionally deny a military retiree service based on the expired ID card date. If this should happen to you, ask the service provider to perform an interactive DEERS query rather than rely on the ID card information. Have your Medicare Part A and B card at the ready.