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Military Health System

Taking Action after a Qualifying Life Event

After experiencing a qualifying life event, beneficiaries must take action to ensure uninterrupted TRICARE coverage. Even if you don't want to make any changes to your health plan, you must update your information in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System. Follow these steps after your QLE: 

1. Update the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System

DEERS is a database of active duty and retired service members, their family members, and others who are eligible for TRICARE. Keeping DEERS updated is essential to getting uninterrupted care. 

After a QLE, a beneficiary may need to enter a new address, add a spouse or child, indicate other health insurance, etc. Some of these actions may need to take place in person with documentation. Learn more at  

2. Choose from three options, based on eligibility

  1. Stay in the same plan. If a beneficiary wants to stay in the same plan, they don't need to take further action after updating DEERS.
  2. Change plans. Beneficiaries who want to learn more about plan options can use the TRICARE Plan Finder at
  3. Enroll in a plan. If a beneficiary isn't already enrolled in a plan and chooses not to enroll, they'll only be able to get care and pharmacy service at a military hospital or clinic if space is available. learn more about how to enroll at

Changes and enrollment must be made within 90 calendar days of the date of the QLE, in most cases. Coverage starts on the date of the QLE and runs for as long as the beneficiary remains eligible.

Frequently Asked Questions

TRICARE QLE Questions and Answers


My child experienced a QLE and is making a Change. Can I do so as well?


A QLE for one family member means all eligible family members can make enrollment changes during the QLE period. 


What if I don’t experience a QLE? Do I have any other option?


You may. If you’re eligible for TRICARE, but don’t enroll in a plan during open season or within 90 days of a QLE, you’ll only be eligible for care and pharmacy services at a military hospital or clinic if space is available.

If you’re a qualified member of the Select Reserve or Retired Reserve and you aren’t in an active status, you may be eligible to purchase a premium-based plan for you and your family. The same is true if you have an eligibility change. Available options include TRICARE Reserve SelectA premium-based plan for qualified Selected Reserve members and their families.TRICARE Reserve Select, TRICARE Retired Reserve, TRICARE Young Adult, and the Continued Health Care Benefit Program. You can purchase a premium-based plan at any time, except for the Continued Health Care Benefit Program (CHCBP). You can only purchase CHCBP coverage within 60 days of loss of eligibility for TRICARE.

You also may be eligible for TRICARE For LifeMedicare-wraparound coverage for TRICARE-eligible beneficiaires who have both Medicare Part A and B.TRICARE For Life. Coverage is automatic if you have Medicare Part A and Part B. 


What is a qualifying life event (QLE)?


A QLE is a certain change in your life that would make you eligible to enroll in a TRICARE Prime option or TRICARE SelectTRICARE Select is a self-managed, preferred provider network plan. TRICARE Select is a fee-for-service option in the United States that allows you to get care from any TRICARE-authorized provider.  Enrollment is required to participate.TRICARE Select outside of open season. These life events may open up TRICARE health plan options for you and your family. If you want to make any eligible changes, you’ll have 90 calendar days from the date of the QLE to do so. 


When Does Coverage Start?


Your coverage will start on the date of the QLE and continue until you lose eligibility or disenroll.


Where can I find a list of the different types of QLEs?


Visit to download the TRICARE Qualifying Life Events Fact Sheet or visit

Last Updated: August 26, 2022
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