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A-3. Tri-service Medical Care (TRICARE)


The Army is dedicated to taking care of its most important assets—Soldiers and military Family members.

TRICARE is the Department of Defense's worldwide health care program available to eligible beneficiaries from the uniformed services.

TRICARE is free to Soldiers but may involve some out-of-pocket expenses for Family members. The cost varies depending on the Soldier's rank and the specific TRICARE program option in which the Family member is enrolled.

Through the TRICARE program, Family members can also go to civilian health care providers if they desire. But before going to a civilian practitioner, Family members should talk to the Beneficiary Counseling and Assistance Coordinator (BCAC) at the nearest military health care facility to see if there are any out-of-pocket expenses. The BCAC will confirm your registration in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS), and can provide a list of doctors in your local area who will accept "TRICARE patients.

When permissible, visit TRICARE online for more information on your military health benefits and regional health plans—www.tricare.mil.

A-4. Service members' Group Life Insurance (SGLI)


As a United States Soldier, you may encounter hostile situations while stationed abroad and in combat. The well-being of your Family is of the greatest concern to the Army.

One of the many benefits afforded Soldiers is the opportunity to purchase very low-cost life insurance. SGLI provides up to a maximum of $400,000. SGLI automatically covers you for this maximum amount unless you select in writing a lesser amount, in increments of $50,000. You may also decline SGLI altogether, but this decision is so important that you must also do that in writing. The payment is deducted automatically from your pay each month. Soldiers with Families almost always select coverage in the maximum amount.

Spouses and children are eligible for Family SGLI. Coverage for a spouse is automatically $100,000 unless a lesser amount, in steps of $10,000, is chosen. Each child is covered for $10,000 for free.

When permissible, visit the Service member’s Life Insurance website maintained by the Department of Veterans Affairs for additional information and assistance with enrollment—www.insurance.va.gov/sgliSite/default.htm.



A-5. Dental


The level of dental care will vary from post to post, but it is available for all Soldiers. However, Family member care is generally not available at military dental facilities.

Family members may get dental insurance through the TRICARE Dental Program. The TRICARE Dental Program (TDP) is dental insurance in which you pay a monthly fee in exchange for Family coverage. It is a voluntary, cost effective, comprehensive program offered worldwide by the Department of Defense to Family members of all active duty branches of the military, and to Selected Reserve and Individual Ready Reserve members and their Family members.

Just as is the case for TRICARE health care, Family members must be registered in DEERS to be eligible for the TRICARE Dental Program.

In order to participate, the Soldier must have 12 months left on his or her service commitment at the time of enrollment, and submit an enrollment form with the first month's premium or enroll online using a charge card. The monthly premiums will usually be deducted from the Soldier's pay, although there are other payment options.

Depending on the dental procedures performed, treatment may be completely covered by the insurance, or there may be co-payments required.

In addition, there is a maximum annual amount that TRICARE will pay for any one beneficiary. Once that yearly amount is reached for the individual, all costs above the maximum must be paid for by the Family.

When permissible, complete information and instructions on how to enroll and find a local dental provider are available on-line at: www.tricare.mil/Dental/TDP.aspx.

A-6. Army Emergency Relief


Army Emergency Relief (AER): Is a private nonprofit organization incorporated in 1942 by the Secretary of War and the Army Chief of Staff. AER’s mission is to provide emergency financial assistance to Soldiers and their Families.

What Can AER Do?

Help with emergency financial needs for:



  • Food, rent or utilities

  • Emergency transportation and vehicle repair

  • Funeral expenses

  • Medical/dental expenses

  • Provide college scholarships to children, spouses, and surviving spouses of Soldiers.

  • Additional Benefits:

    • Lifetime membership in the Army Air Force Mutual Aid Association for surviving Families of Soldiers who die on active duty.

    • Grants for wounded Soldiers medically evacuated from a theater of combat

    • Personal Financial Management Training for Soldiers in AIT

Who is Eligible?

  • Active duty Soldiers, single or married, and their Family members.

  • Army National Guard and Army Reserve Soldiers on continuous active duty for more than 30 days and their Family members (Title 10, USC).

  • Soldiers retired from active duty for longevity or physical disability, and their Family members.

  • Army National Guard and Army Reserve Soldiers who retired at age 60, and their Family members.

  • Surviving spouses and orphans of Soldiers who died while on active duty or after they retired.


How Do I Get Assistance?

  • Through your unit chain of command and the installation AER section.

  • If there is no AER section near you, you can get assistance through:

    • American Red Cross (local chapter, or 24 hour emergency services)

    • Air Force Base (Air Force Aid Society)

    • Navy/Marine Corps Base (Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society)

    • Coast Guard Base (Coast Guard Mutual Assistance)

What Should I Bring With Me?

  • Military ID Card

  • Leave and Earnings Statement

  • Leave/PCS Orders

  • Substantiating documents such as car repair estimate, rental agreement, and utility bill.

Can My Spouse Get AER Help If I’m Away?

Yes. Your spouse should bring:



  • Power of Attorney

  • Military ID Card

  • Substantiating documents

What Kind of Assistance Can I Expect?

  • An interest free loan.

  • A grant if repayment of loan will cause undue hardship.

  • Part loan and part grant.

What is the Command Referral Program?

  • Company Commander or First Sergeant can approve AER loans up to $1,000.

  • Provides Company/Battery Chain of Command ability to assist Soldier with financial issues.

How Do I Apply for a Scholarship?

  • MG James Ursano Scholarship Program and Stateside Spouse Education Assistance Program applications are available online 1 December and are due the following April.

  • Overseas Spouse Education Assistance Program’s academic year consists of 5 terms. Applications for the upcoming terms are available online.

Is There a Dollar Limit on AER Help?

No. AER will meet your emergency need.



Do I Have to Contribute to AER to Get Help?

No. If you are eligible for AER assistance and have a valid emergency need, AER will help.



Where Does AER Get Its Funds?

  • Voluntary contributions from active and retired Soldiers and civilians.

  • Repayment of AER interest-free loans.

  • Investment income.

  • Unsolicited contributions.

Why Does AER Have a Fundraising Campaign?

  • Provide an opportunity for Soldiers to help their fellow Soldiers.

  • Create greater awareness and understanding of AER programs and benefits.

  • Retain tax exempt status by raising at least 1/3 of our funds through donations.

What Portion of My Contribution Helps Soldiers?

89 cents of every dollar you contribute goes to help Soldiers; AER administrative and fundraising expenses cost only 11 cents.



What is AER’s Record of Assistance?

  • Since it was established in 1942, AER has helped more than 3.2 million Soldiers and Family members with more than $1 billion.

  • In 2009, AER assisted 71,000 Soldiers and their Families with more than $79 million.

How Can I Help AER?

  • Remind fellow Soldiers about AER when they have financial emergencies.

  • Support AER with a contribution and encourage others to contribute.

  • The Army-wide annual AER fund campaign is conducted 1 March –15 May.

  • You can contribute to your local AER fund campaign or send your contribution to AER National Headquarters.

  • All contributions are tax deductible.

  • Unsolicited donations are accepted any time by mail or on-line.

For more information contact your local AER officer or visit our website at www.aerhq.org.

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