DEERS and Your Income Tax Reporting

DEERS and Your Income Tax Reporting

In order to qualify, you must have your family enrolled in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS). It is a database of information on uniformed services members (sponsors), U.S.-sponsored foreign military, DoD and uniformed services civilians, other personnel as directed by the DoD, and their family members. You need to register in DEERS to get TRICARE. Both DEERS and the Department of Defense (DoD) cannot accurately report your healthcare coverage to the Internal Revenue Service.

Beginning in 2015, the DoD reported health care coverage of its service members and their dependents to the IRS. This report allows the IRS to determine which families had Minimum Essential Coverage (MEC)—basic health care coverage that meets the Affordable Care Act requirement. If you don’t have MEC coverage, you may have to pay a fee for each month you aren’t covered.

For tax purposes, individuals and family members are identified by their social security numbers (SSN). If a sponsor receives a letter indicating that their SSN, or a family members’ SSN needs to be updated in DEERS, please follow the instructions in the letter to ensure your information is correctly reported to the IRS. Those who have not met the MEC requirement will be required to pay a fee for the number of months each family member did not have coverage. If your family information is not reported accurately in DEERS, then your IRS information will be reported incorrectly.


Make sure you go to the right place if you have questions about any required forms you might need. Army, Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy members, retirees and annuitants serviced by Defense Finance and Accounting Services can opt-in to receive their IRS Form electronically via myPay ( or call 1-888-332-7411 for assistance. Active duty members and active reservists of the U.S. Coast Guard, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) can call 1-866-772-8724 or visit their Pay and Personnel Center page at  Non-active duty Coast Guard, NOAA, Public Health Service (PHS) retirees, annuitants and former spouses can call 1-800-772-8274.  Active Public Health Service members can call 240-276-8799, email the PHS pay center at or fax an email to 240-276-8817.

For general ACA tax questions, please use the Yellow Pages to contact your local IRS Service Center or go to

For more information on how TRICARE works with the ACA, go to the TRICARE website (

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within this article are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of FRA.

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