Updated on  February 21, 2024
4 min read

What You Need to Know About TRICARE Eye Insurance Coverage

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What is TRICARE Eye Insurance?

Vision insurance covers some or all of the eye care and eyewear costs. 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

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

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

Types of TRICARE Plans for Vision Coverage

Different types of TRICARE plans are available 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

What Does TRICARE Cover?

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

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 with 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 with serious medical conditions.3

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

What Doesn’t TRICARE Cover?

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 the open enrollment, and you can view plans in the online marketplace.1

Costs of the FEDVIP program vary depending on your chosen plan. There may also be limitations for the costs of glasses or contact lenses. Check your plan to see what is covered.


LASIK surgery isn’t covered under TRICARE insurance. It’s a vision correction surgery that uses lasers to fix eye conditions like: 

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

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

Alternative Ways to Pay for LASIK

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

  • Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) or Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). SA and HSA accounts are both pre-tax accounts.4  HSA accounts are generally tied to traditional health plans with high deductibles.
  • Health reimbursement accounts. These are employer-funded health benefit plans. They reimburse employees for eligible out-of-pocket healthcare expenses.4
  • Special deals. Keep an eye out for deals and discounts your eye doctor offers. Some offices offer discounts to attract new patients and retain current ones.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.


TRICARE offers vision coverage for active duty military members and their dependents. This helps reduce and cover the costs of various vision-related services. Remember to check your coverage to see what’s included in your plan.

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

Updated on  February 21, 2024
8 sources cited
Updated on  February 21, 2024
  1. Alwine R. “What Does Tricare Vision Actually Cover?Military.com, 2021.
  2. Boyd K. “LASIK – Laser Eye Surgery.” American Academy of Ophthalmology, 2021.
  3. Eligibility.” TRICARE.
  4. Financing LASIK or PRK.” LasikPlus.
  5. Vision Benefits.” Military.com, 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.
The information provided on VisionCenter.org should not be used in place of actual information provided by a doctor or a specialist.