One of the first things you should be concerned with upon commissioning is understanding the benefits that you will receive while waiting for The Basic School. There are definitely a few small details that I was not aware of prior to commissioning that I would like to share. If you have questions about these types of things make sure you make an inquiry with the staff at your unit and get answers.
Yes, while in the Individual Ready Reserve Marines will receive full medical coverage while waiting for The Basic School. Be mindful that it can take a matter of weeks and possibly months to get your name through the system after commissioning. I believe the general time frame is a few weeks, but some problems after I commissioned held myself and many other Marine up for over a month. Once you are in the system you may enroll with Tricare and choose a Primary Care Manager (PCM).
It came as an unfortunate surprise to me when I found out that I would not be getting dental insurance while in the Individual Ready Reserve. I was insured through my university prior to commissioning and neglected to get some dental work taken care of because I didn’t want to pay the deductible. This turned out to be a sad mistake. Don’t be uninformed like I was and ask questions about anything you do not understand.
Similar to dental, there are no vision benefits while in the Individual Ready Reserve. If you have glasses, or use contacts, make sure you get any necessary prescriptions filled while you have coverage through your university/parents.
Are you married? Are you planning to get married? Kids?
While in the Individual Ready Reserve your dependents will NOT receive any health care benefits. This is incredibly important for you to understand if you are married and have children. As soon as you report to The Basic School and become Active your dependents will be able to get their IDs and signup for coverage.
Please note that the Marine Corps is constantly changing policy to better accommodate Marines and their families. The information given is a reflection of what I understand to be the policy of the Marine Corps at the time this was written.