Your Military ID and Civilian Health Care Providers: Copying Military ID Cards

Published, June 3, 2013

The Department of the Navy Privacy Team often gets asked whether it's okay to provide a military ID card to a civilian health care provider as proof of insurance (e.g., TRICARE Standard, Extra, Prime or TRICARE for Life). In this time of heightened privacy awareness many individuals don't feel comfortable providing their ID card to anyone.

Even though the photocopying of U.S. Government identification cards is a violation of Title 18, U.S. Code Part I, Chapter 33, Section 701 and punishable by fine and imprisonment, this prohibition does not apply to government agencies and there are other exceptions (i.e., police can make copies for official purposes).

When you go to a civilian doctor and use TRICARE as your insurance, you'll be asked for your uniformed service ID card when you check in. The office is allowed, and will make a copy of your ID card. You may not have to show your ID card after the first time, but you should always carry it just in case.

If you get care at a military hospital or clinic, you'll always be required to show your ID card first.

For more information, visit the TRICARE website.

TAGS: Privacy

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