Updated on 

April 22, 2022

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Tricare Eye Insurance Coverage

What is TRICARE Eye Insurance?

Vision insurance covers some or all of the costs of eye care and eyewear. Depending on the plan, your vision insurance may cover eye exams, vision treatments, glasses, contact lenses, and more.7

TRICARE eye insurance is for those registered in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS).3

TRICARE insurance is only available to:3

  • Members of the Uniformed Service and their families
  • Members of the National Guard or National Reserve and their families
  • Medal of Honor recipients and their families
  • Survivors of war
  • Former spouses of DEERS members
  • Anyone else who is registered in DEERS

VSP offers flexible vision insurance coverage, built just for you. Learn More

Who is Eligible for TRICARE Eye Insurance?

There are two types of beneficiaries for TRICARE vision coverage:8

  1. Sponsors, including anyone who is still active duty, retired, or a member of the Guard or Reserve
  2. Families, including spouses and children who are registered in DEERS

Types of TRICARE Plans for Vision Coverage

There are different types of TRICARE plans for vision coverage. Available plans vary for different types of beneficiaries.

For example, active service duty members may be eligible for the following types of TRICARE insurance, depending on their base:3

  • TRICARE Prime
  • TRICARE Prime Remote
  • TRICARE Prime Overseas
  • TRICARE Prime Remote Overseas

Meanwhile, family members of someone who is active duty may enroll in one of the above Prime plans with their sponsor. 

They may also consider one of the following plans if they qualify: 3

  • TRICARE Select
  • US Family Health Plan
  • TRICARE for Life
  • TRICARE Select Overseas
  • TRICARE Young Adult

Need vision Insurance? VSP has plans as low as $13/month. View Plans

What Does TRICARE Cover?

Vision coverage under TRICARE may include the following, depending on your health plan:8

TRICARE coverage includes annual routine eye exams for anyone who is active duty, as well as for all active duty family members, regardless of the type of healthcare plan.3

All active duty members, as well as active guard and reserve members, are covered for yearly eye exams and glasses that the military medical or vision clinic issues. Sunglasses may also be available if they are considered necessary.3

Any eye care treatment that is medically necessary is also considered a vision benefit under all TRICARE vision plans.3

Dependents who have TRICARE Prime are also eligible for an eye exam every two years. They must do the exam at a military treatment facility or authorized location. However, glasses are only available to dependents if they have serious medical conditions.3

What Doesn’t TRICARE Cover?

TRICARE vision insurance does not cover everything. Coverage varies for different plans and beneficiaries. Check with your plan to see what services and treatments are covered.

For retirees, healthcare coverage may only include a routine eye exam every two years instead of every year. For retirees with TRICARE Select, TRICARE Young Adult Select, or TRICARE for Life, routine eye exams are not covered at all.5

If you need more vision coverage, you may be eligible for the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP). The FEDVIP is available during open enrollment, from mid-November through mid-December. You can view plans in the online marketplace.1

FEDVIP coverage can help pay for spouses and children. However, active-duty service members cannot use the FEDVIP program.1

Costs of the FEDVIP program vary depending on the plan you choose. For example, the monthly cost can range from about $6 to $15 for spouses. Meanwhile, it can range from $20 to $32 for spouses and children.1

There may be limitations for the costs of glasses or contact lenses. Check your plan to see what is covered.

VSP insurance coverage can help you save on glasses, contacts, eye exams, and more. Learn More

Does TRICARE Cover LASIK?

LASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis) is a vision correction surgery that uses lasers to fix eye conditions like: 

  • Myopia (nearsightedness)
  • Hyperopia (farsightedness)
  • Astigmatism

LASIK surgery is not covered under TRICARE insurance.

No vision insurance covers LASIK because it’s considered elective (not medically necessary). However, some plans may offer a small discount.2 

Fortunately, there are still ways you can save on some of the costs of LASIK eye surgery:

1. Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) or Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)

Some people choose to use their FSA or HSA plans to help cover LASIK surgery costs. FSA and HSA accounts are both pre-tax accounts.4 

HSA accounts are generally tied to traditional health plans that have high deductibles.

2. Health reimbursement accounts

Other people tap into their health reimbursement accounts. These are employer-funded health benefit plans. They reimburse employees for eligible out-of-pocket healthcare expenses.4

Sometimes, health reimbursement accounts offerage coverage for health care insurance plan premiums.

3. Special deals 

Keep an eye out for deals and discounts your eye doctor offers. Or, search for doctors who are promoting special deals. Some offices offer discounts to attract new patients and retain current ones.4

4. QualSight LASIK 

QualSight LASIK is the largest network of LASIK eye surgeons across the U.S. You may be able to find a LASIK payment plan through QUALSight LASIK to help cover the costs.6

You can also shop around for different eye surgeons to find the lowest cost option in your area.

However, not everyone is eligible for LASIK treatment. Reach out to your eye doctor to discuss your options and whether or not LASIK is right for you.

VSP has the nation's largest network of independent vision doctors. Protect your health and save money today. Check Their Network

8 Cited Research Articles
  1. Alwine, Rebecca. “What Does Tricare Vision Actually Cover?Military.com, 4 Feb. 2021.
  2. Boyd, Kierstan. “LASIK - Laser Eye Surgery.” American Academy of Ophthalmology, 3 Mar. 2021.
  3. Eligibility.” TRICARE.
  4. Financing LASIK or PRK.” LasikPlus.
  5. Military.com. “Vision Benefits.” Military.com, 3 Sept. 2019.
  6. Schedule Your Free LASIK Exam Today!LASIK Eye Surgery: Largest LASIK Plan in the USA | QualSight LASIK
  7. Vision Coverage - Healthcare.gov Glossary.” HealthCare.gov
  8. Vision.” TRICARE.
Melody Huang is an optometrist and freelance health writer. Through her writing, Dr. Huang enjoys educating patients on how to lead healthier and happier lives. She also has an interest in Eastern medicine practices and learning about integrative medicine. When she’s not working, Dr. Huang loves reviewing new skin care products, trying interesting food recipes, or hanging with her adopted cats.
AnnaMarie’s work as a staff writer for Vision Center spans ophthalmology, optometry and basic optic procedures to preventative eye care. Inspired to help readers see the world more clearly, she writes about everything from finding the appropriate eyeglasses and contacts to treating and preventing eye diseases to getting corrective surgeries to improve vision.
https://www.visioncenter.org/author/annamarie/
Author: AnnaMarie Houlis  | UPDATED April 22, 2022
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Medical reviewer: Dr. Melody Huang, O.D.
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Dr. Melody Huang, O.D.
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The information provided on VisionCenter.org should not be used in place of actual information provided by a doctor or a specialist.

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