(RECORDS) PERMANENT ID CARDS

Family Members, Survivors Over Age 75 Eligible

August 25, 2005 - A permanent United States Uniformed Services Identification (ID) card will be available September 2005 for all eligible Uniformed Services family members and survivors of deceased personnel, who are age 75 and over. Currently, Uniformed Services retirees are the only persons who receive a permanent ID card.

Beneficiaries currently in possession of a valid ID card should obtain the new permanent ID card within 90 days of expiration. If beneficiaries' cards are not due to expire for at least another year, they do not need to apply for the new ID card until their existing card is within 90 days of expiring.

The Military Health System requires all eligible beneficiaries to have an ID card in order to receive health care. Beneficiaries will continue to receive health care benefits and their claims will be processed with their current ID card until they receive the permanent ID card as long as their personal informatioAugust 25, 2005 n is current in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS).

Even though active duty and retired service members are automatically registered in DEERS, their family members are not. It is the sponsors' responsibility to register their family members into DEERS. Sponsors must also make any necessary updates in DEERS for themselves and their family members to ensure TRICARE benefits and claims processing will continue without interruption. Changes to sponsor's status, home address and family status (marriage, divorce, birth and adoption) are examples of information that needs to be properly maintained in DEERS.

It is important for surviving family members to update their personal information in DEERS when the active duty or retired sponsor dies. The DEERS Support Office can be reached by telephone at 1-800-538-9552, or information can be found online at www.tricare.osd.mil/DEERS.

For more information about the permanent retiree ID card or DEERS enrollment, beneficiaries may visit the Tricare Web HERE or call the TRICARE Regional Office (TRO) North (1-877-874-2273), the TRO South (1-800-444-5445), or TRO West (1-888-874-9378). Overseas beneficiaries can call 1-888-777-8343. Beneficiaries can also find the nearest ID card issuing facility.