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TRICARE Q&A: Managing Your DEERS Record

Image of TRICARE Q&A: Managing Your DEERS Record. Nicholas White, left, a Marine Corps veteran and Semper Fit complex manager, and Staff Sgt. Felicia White, the custodian of postal effects at the Marine Corps Air Station Futenma Post Office, pose with their son, Nicky, on Camp Foster, Okinawa, Japan, April 4, 2022. Month of the Military Child, celebrated annually in April, recognizes military families and their children for the daily sacrifices and unique challenges they overcome. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Alex Fairchild)

FALLS CHURCH, Va. – Has it been a while since the last time you checked your Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) record? If so, take a moment to log in to ID Card Office Online (IDCO) to make sure your information is up to date. This includes changes in your military status, contact information, and family status (marriage, divorce, births).

“It’s a good idea to check your DEERS record every so often to ensure all information is correct,” said Dr. Danita Hunter, chief of TRICARE Policy and Programs. “Information that’s incorrect or missing in your DEERS record can cause problems with TRICARE and other military benefits.”

Read on to learn how to maintain your DEERS record and why it’s important to do so.

Q: Who should be registered in DEERS?
A: Sponsors, their family members, and others who are eligible for TRICARE benefits must be registered in DEERS.

How you’re added to DEERS depends on who you are. Service members—active duty, National Guard and Reserve, and retired service members—are automatically registered as sponsors based on information from their personnel systems. If you’re a sponsor, you must register your family members by visiting a RAPIDS ID Card Office. Family members can’t receive TRICARE benefits until their information is in DEERS.

Q: Who can check their DEERS records?
A: Anyone age 18 or older can log in to IDCO to view their own information. In most cases, sponsors can also view information for eligible family members. Family members can only view their own information.

Q: How do I log in to DEERS?
A: You can use a Common Access Card or Defense Self-Service Logon (DS Logon) to log in. If you need help with DS Logon or need a new account, visit DS Logon.

Q: What information can I see in my DEERS record?
A: You can use IDCO to view:

  • Personal information, including your Social Security number, date of birth, and marital status
  • Contact information such as your address, phone number, and email address

You can use milConnect to view:

  • Benefit information, including medical, dental, and pharmacy enrollment and eligibility
  • Personnel and service-related data if you’re a sponsor

Q: Why do I need to keep my DEERS record up to date?
A: Keep DEERS up to date so you and your family can use your TRICARE benefits. Errors in DEERS can cause problems with claims, authorization letters for referrals, and getting prescriptions.

An outdated DEERS record can also cause you to miss enrollment deadlines. For example, if you don’t update DEERS within 90 days of having a Qualifying Life Event (QLE), you might not have another opportunity to make enrollment changes until the next TRICARE Open Season.

Q: When should I update my DEERS record?
A:
Update your DEERS record as soon as any information changes or if you or a family member has a QLE. As described in the TRICARE Qualifying Life Events Fact Sheet, QLEs include moving, getting married or divorced, having or adopting a child, gaining or losing other health insurance, and changes in the sponsor’s status (including activation or retirement). If you enroll in Medicare, you should also check your DEERS record to make sure Medicare enrollment is part of your current record.

Q: How do I update my contact information in DEERS?
A:
Sponsors and family members can update contact information by using one of these options:

  • Online: Log in to IDCO or milConnect
  • Phone: 1-800-538-9552 (TTY/TDD: 1-866-363-2883)
  • Fax: 1-800-336-4416
  • Mail: Defense Manpower Data Center Support Office
    Attention: COA
    400 Gigling Rd.
    Seaside, CA 93955-6771

Be sure to update contact information for each family member, if applicable.

Q: How do I add, change, or terminate other data in DEERS?
A:
Active duty sponsors who need to change personnel or personal data in DEERS must follow their service branch’s personnel procedures. You can update some information through IDCO. You may need to make other updates and corrections by contacting the nearest RAPIDS ID Card Office. The required documents you should bring vary based on the type of change you need to make.

If a sponsor isn’t available, family members should contact their nearest RAPIDS ID Card Office.

Q: Who can I contact if I need help with DEERS?
A:
You can call the DMDC/DEERS Support Office at 1-800-538-9552 (TTY/TDD: 1-866-363-2883) if you need help with your DEERS information. If you have benefit or enrollment questions, call your TRICARE regional contractor before contacting DEERS.

Remember to keep your DEERS record up to date and refer to these Q&As to help you do so.

Would you like the latest TRICARE news sent to you by email? Visit TRICARE Subscriptions, and create your personalized profile to get benefit updates, news, and more.

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