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TRICARE Supplement Insurance Works So You Don’t Have To

by Jessica Zeiser on May 12, 2017

Several public health insurance systems cover approximately 36% of the US population. These include Medicare, Medicaid, State Children’s Health Insurance Plan, the Indian Health Service, the Veterans Administration, and TRICARE, formerly known as CHAMPUS, according to the latest Kaiser Family Foundation data.

In general, TRICARE is available to military persons who are Active Duty, Activated Guard/Reserve, or Retired. The program also extends to spouses and dependents.(1) How many of the nearly 9.4 million TRICARE-eligible beneficiaries does your organization employ? Keep reading to find out how it’s in your company’s interest to offer them a special voluntary benefit, called a TRICARE Supplement. (Spoiler: This insurance also happens to be one of the easiest voluntary benefits for HR to set up and manage because it can be fully outsourced.)

Military-worker-tricare-supplement.jpgMilitary people are great to employ and retain.

Chances are, you’ve got some highly-skilled and productive workers who developed their careers in the military. In many cases, military employees can be better-prepared than the non-military working population for certain types of work. As reported by Forbes, a recent LinkedIn study identified skills veterans in the workforce are more likely to possess than non-military LinkedIn users. Data from the LinkedIn analysis of 1.1 million veteran profiles indicates they are stronger with adaptability, integrity, report writing, details, team skills, and problem solving. These are people who know how to work as part of a team, how to take instruction, and how to be accountable.

The job market is heating up, with unemployment down to about 4.4%. That means companies must campaign hard to attract and retain these coveted military individuals in a tight labor market. Creating special perks for them differentiates your organization from your competitors by showing how valued veterans truly are. Plus, there’s a positive PR benefit, and genuine feel-good karma that result from doing right by those who served. Offering a TRICARE Supplement is a concrete way to demonstrate that your company values its heroes.

What is TRICARE Supplement insurance?

TRICARE Supplement Insurance is a voluntary insurance plan designed to supplement TRICARE plans and help employees limit their-out-of-pocket expenses. For military families who rely on one of the three major TRICARE programs (Standard/Extra, Prime, or Reserve Select), the supplement insurance can help pay for additional costs TRICARE leaves behind. Product highlights include(2):

  • Covers cost shares and co-pays (including prescription drugs)
  • Covers a portion of the TRICARE deductible; in some cases up to 100%
  • No pre-existing condition clause when offered as an employer voluntary benefit
  • Covers excess charges up to the legal limit
  • Guaranteed acceptance
  • No medical examination required to apply(2)

Many employees will choose the supplement after they run the numbers on their actual costs without a supplement versus having the supplement. The value proposition for eligible employees, their spouses, and their dependents, makes good financial sense in many cases, especially for more mature workers(2).

TRICARE Supplement is a voluntary benefit that goes both ways.

Employers that offer a supplement plan as a voluntary benefit realize three kinds of gain: First, robust coverage resulting from the combination of TRICARE and the TRICARE Supplement creates an attractive alternative for eligible employees to employer-sponsored, major medical coverage. Second, the TRICARE Supplement is a voluntary benefit whose cost is wholly borne by employees, so the cost to offer the supplement does not include a corporate match component. Finally, the availability of these plans can help attract and retain those coveted employees with necessary military backgrounds. 

This is one of the few voluntary benefits programs that can be mutually beneficial for both the employee AND the employer.

Build a better portfolio with less effort.

“This insurance product sounds great,” said the Director of HR, “but I already have a hard time managing all the voluntary benefits in my portfolio.” The good news is that companies and brokers can offer the supplement with very little effort.

Offering the supplement becomes an easy decision when you consider that a well-qualified insurance administrator can help eliminate the hassles associated with delivering a great portfolio of products. Selman & Company supports the entire process of worksite administration, and provides most of the heavy lifting when it comes to enrollment, administration, and billing of the TRICARE Supplement--and other products, too.

Specifically, your outsourcing partner can handle:

  • Marketing and pre-enrollment support
  • Commission payment tracking
  • Customer service, billing, claims, and compliance


Talent development has become a strategic imperative(3) for a lot of companies because of a cliché that’s also true: The best people build the best companies. Offering a TRICARE Supplement can be a boon to your company by helping you attract and retain some of the best workers in America. It’s also a type of voluntary benefit that appeals to the military-affiliated workers you employ.

Download the TRICARE white paper, "TRICARE Supplement Insurance for Talent Acquisition and Health Care Cost Control":

Get the Paper

Employers & Brokers: For a quote and further details, contact us.

Individuals: If you’re looking for more information about whether this type of insurance would work for you, complete the form on this page and we’ll contact you.

Individuals: If you’re an individual and you already know you want to purchase a TRICARE Supplement online, get a quote and purchase a plan here.


(1) Refer to TRICARE.mil for actual plan specifics.

(2) This is not a description of plan details. For that, you’ll have to contact us to get specifics and a quote. TRICARE Supplement is not available in all states.

(3) GAUL, P. (2016). TALENT DEVELOPMENT IN THE POST-KNOWLEDGE WORLD. TD: Talent Development, 70(12), 46.

Photo credit: Department of Defense

Topics: TRICARE Supplement