NEWS | Aug. 14, 2012

Updating your DEERS information helps your healthcare team

By Maj. Merritt Brockman 628th Medical Group TRICARE Flight commander

Whatever your military status; active duty, Reservist, retired or dependent, your registration in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System is an integral part for many aspects of military life and especially necessary with respect to establishing your TRICARE eligibility. Without your enrollment in DEERS or an enrollment with the correct information, beneficiaries could find their coverage has lapsed, leaving problems with TRICARE claims.

But did you know that not updating DEERS hinders your healthcare team's ability to contact you? Our medical information systems are populated from the information in DEERS. So, incorrect addresses and phone numbers can lead to difficulties for your doctors and nurses in contacting you, to relay important health information, or for our appointment reminder system to work properly.

Fortunately, updating DEERS is very easy and subsequent updates to the medical information systems happen almost instantaneously.
DEERS updates should be made every time you reenlist, transfer, have a change in your dependents' status (marriage, divorce, or new child), move or change your phone number.

In instances where your marital status has changed or you have added a member to your family, visit your local Military Personnel Section with the appropriate paperwork (marriage license, divorce decree, birth certificate/certificate of live birth or adoption certificate).

Registering your newborn or newly adopted child is extremely important and should be done prior to the newborn or adopted child's first medical appointment. Register your new child in DEERS as soon as possible, to prevent potential safety complications in the future. Enrolling children in the medical system before enrolling them in DEERS can cause duplicate electronic medical records and may hinder your child's ability to have one consolidated health record with all of their future pertinent information, i.e. medication allergies or serious health conditions. However, updates from DEERS to the medical systems happen so quickly, you can enroll your new child into TRICARE immediately following your appointment at the MPS.

For changes to information like address, e-mail or phone number, service members can go to www.dmdc.osd.mil/milconnect .

Additionally, spouses and dependents can make changes to DEERS in the service member's absence (during a deployment), as long as they have a valid power of attorney (general power of attorney or a special power of attorney specifically for DEERS transactions) with them when they visit the MPS.

Updating your DEERS information helps your healthcare team continue to provide the best medical care to all of our past, present and future heroes.

If you have any questions regarding registering in DEERS, contact Maj. Merritt Brockman at 963-6708 or email: merritt.brockman@us.af.mil.