Lived in Canada
for many years and of course did not need my Tricare. That was a good thing as for most of that time the rules stated you could not use it outside the country or at least that is what I was told by Tricare. The rule
has changed but of course, with all the budget
crunching, it may well change back. Moved back to the US in 2007 and was told by Tricare that because my husband had insurance
that covered me Tricare would not pay anything, even for something that wasn't covered by the other insurance. For that and other reasons, I've never been all that impressed with Tricare. Last time I called their 800 number though I got great help. Don't go to the local office for help (I was met with a very hostile reception)- I suggest you either use the website or call the 800 number. We're trying to figure out the same thing so if I find out anything will post it back to the thread.
Unless they've changed the rules about who pays for travel, I believe that outside a certain area, the government
has to pay for travel for the annual checkup. Maybe that's why I've never been recalled for an exam but I don't use the VA for my healthcare provider even though I'm eligible. The compensation goes straight into the bank.