TRICARE is a insurance provider that helps military members and their families receive the medical services they need. If you or a family member serves in the U.S. military or retired from the military, you may be eligible to receive health insurance through TRICARE.

TRICARE is part of the U.S. Military health Care System, meaning it provides health benefits to current and former military members at military hospitals, clinics and some civilian doctor’s offices and hospitals. Unlike many non-military insurance providers, TRICARE is set up to cover many health care needs at hospitals around the globe — an important feature for military families who move frequently or are stationed abroad.

TRICARE offers a variety of health care plans and coverage options, including vision and dental care, pharmacy services and other needs such as cancer treatment and hospice care. In some cases, TRICARE benefits can be used in conjunction with other insurance. Most plans meet or exceed the minimum requirements for health insurance mandated by the Affordable Care Act. 

You can complete a TRICARE eligibility check below.

What TRICARE Provides

Like many insurance providers, TRICARE offers a variety of plans to fit your specific health situation or family health needs. Plans differ based off the military branch you and your family fall within, what your health care needs are, and your status of military activity (active duty or retired status). In general, TRICARE provides coverage for preventative care, vision and dental care, mental health, pharmacy services, and special programs for individuals with disabilities, in need of specialty treatments or in different stages of duty — such as transitioning to careers outside the military sector. The healthcare services TRICARE covers vary among enrollees, so it’s important to check the specific benefits of what your plan may cover.

Eligibility for TRICARE

Many people qualify for TRICARE benefits. If you’re unsure whether you may qualify, first consider if you or your spouse, parent or caretaker is a member of the military. If so, you’re one step closer to eligibility. Generally, you may be eligible for TRICARE coverage if:

  • You are an active duty or retired Uniformed Service member
  • You are the spouse or child of an active duty or retired Uniformed Service member
  • You are a National Guard or Reserve member
  • You are the spouse or child of a National Guard or Reserve member
  • You are the survivor of deceased military member
  • You are the former spouse of a military member
  • You are a Medal of Honor recipient
  • You are the spouse or child of a Medal of Honor recipient
  • You are registered in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS)

As with many insurance providers, there are always exceptions to eligibility. Be sure to further examine your own eligibility, or review your DEERS registration to determine if you are a strong TRICARE candidate.  Try our TRICARE eligibility check here:

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TRICARE Differences Between Military Branches

Not all members of the armed forces qualify for every type of TRICARE coverage. In general, only limited TRICARE benefits are available to National Guard and Reserve members who are not on active duty or do not have orders to activate. While some plans are available, not all provide full health insurance. In situations where National Guard and Reserve members activate for duty, more in-depth TRICARE plans can become available.

Losing TRICARE Eligibility

TRICARE benefits can be lost if you no longer qualify — and there are several reasons your coverage may be revoked. If you are going to lose your TRICARE eligibility, you’ll be notified before any changes are made. In some cases, you may qualify for six months of temporary coverage through transitional programs that give you time to find a new insurance provider. Some common reasons for losing your TRICARE eligibility are:

  • Leaving active duty before being discharged
  • Divorce or remarriage
  • Adult children aging out of TRICARE eligibility
  • Conflict issues with Medicare
  • Failing to Update DEERS (though this can be remedied by updating your DEERS information to restore health benefits and coverage)

How to Apply for TRICARE

Applying for TRICARE is an easy, three-step process that first begins with registering in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS). DEERS is a global database that catalogs information about military members, their families and dependents. This system can ensure you receive military health benefits regardless of where you and your family live or are stationed. You must be registered in DEERS to apply for TRICARE benefits.

To apply for TRICARE benefits:

  • Register for the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS)
  • Check your health benefit eligibility through DEERS
  • Select a TRICARE plan online that benefits your unique situation or family needs

Where to Learn More About TRICARE

The Department of Defense’ TRICARE website (www.tricare.mil) can provide you with additional information about eligibility, health insurance plans you may qualify, and other factors that may be more specialized to your unique situation.

Visiting the Military Health System and the Defense Health Agency website (www.health.mil) may also provide you with general information about obtaining health insurance as an active service person or veteran.

If you or a family member serves in the U.S. military, or retired from the military, you may be eligible to receive health insurance benefits through TRICARE.

TRICARE is a health care program that supplies health insurance benefits to active and retired military members, as well as their families. The program is formerly known as CHAMPUS — the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Uniformed Services. Nearly 9.5 million people utilize TRICARE to provide for their routine care and other health needs.

TRICARE is part of the U.S. Military Health Care System, which is managed by the Defense Health Agency. The health insurance program meets, or in some cases exceeds, the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) mandatory requirements.

Many people with links to military service qualify for TRICARE medical benefits, including active duty members and retirees, National Guard and Reserve members, family members and survivors of military personnel, and in some cases, former spouses. TRICARE is also available to people enrolled in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (also known as DEERS).

TRICARE offers different levels of health care coverage under a variety of plans, and provides dental benefits, pharmacy benefits and insurance coverage needs for many health programs. 11 insurance plans are available based on location, age, family needs and military status.

Where you live can affect your TRICARE plan options, but it doesn’t mean you can’t enroll. Individuals and families stationed overseas or choosing to live abroad can still qualify for TRICARE benefits. Benefits are available globally, and the TRICARE network of physicians and health care providers stretches worldwide to ensure you received the health services you need.

TRICARE can be used in conjunction with other insurance you may have based on your military enrollment status. Active duty personnel can only use TRICARE to cover health needs, but retired military members can use the program to help cover medical expenses that private insurance or Medicare may not cover.

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General TRICARE Coverage

TRICARE provides health insurance benefits that vary by who is enrolled, what plan they use and other needs they may have. While each of these factors can affect what health care is covered or what your out-of-pocket expenses may be, the following is a general list of what military health benefits are available.

Preventative Care: Basic health care with the goal ensuring wellness while preventing larger health problems and identifying potential health issues.

Mental Health Care: Treatment for improving mental health through individual and family therapy, substance abuse treatment, eating disorder treatment, and other related services, including psychological testing and behavior analysis.

Vision Care: Covers eye examinations and necessary correctives (such as glasses or contacts). TRICARE’s vision benefits vary your plan, age and military status.

Pharmacy Benefits: Provides access to filling and receiving prescription medications, with access to military pharmacies, home delivery and other pharmacies.

Dental Care: TRICARE’s dental coverage is separate from its healthcare program (and requires separate enrollment), and focuses on improving oral health.

Special Programs: You may have other medical needs, such as cancer clinical trials, hospice care, chiropractics or durable medical equipment. TRICARE offers programs for these needs, among others.

WARNING: The healthcare services and needs TRICARE covers will vary among every enrollee, based on military status, selected plan and other factors. It is important to always check with your specific benefits to better understand what your individual plan will or will not cover before receiving medical services.

Understanding TRICARE Eligibility Requirements

You may be eligible for TRICARE coverage if:

  • You are an active duty or retired Uniformed Service member
  • You are the spouse or child of an active duty or retired Uniformed Service member
  • You are a National Guard or Reserve member
  • You are the spouse or child of a National Guard or Reserve member
  • You are the survivor of deceased military member
  • You are the former spouse of a military member
  • You are a Medal of Honor recipient
  • You are the spouse or child of a Medal of Honor recipient
  • You are registered in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS)

TRICARE provides coverage for two kinds of beneficiaries, and refers to them in these terms:

Sponsors: Any individual who is currently on active duty, is retired or is a National Guard or Reserve serviceperson

Family members: Any individual who is the spouse or child of an active duty, retired or National Guard or Reserve serviceperson, and is registered in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS)

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Active Duty Uniformed Service Members

If you are an active duty military member — or the spouse or child of an active duty serviceperson — you are eligible for TRICARE insurance benefits. TRICARE is the only insurance provider you can have as long as you or your military sponsor is on active duty within one of these military branches:

  1. U.S. Air Force
  2. U.S. Army
  3. U.S. Coast Guard
  4. U.S. Marine Corps
  5. U.S. Navy
  6. Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service
  7. Commissioned Corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association

Example. If your spouse (who TRICARE calls a sponsor) is an active duty member of the U.S. Army, you are both eligible for TRICARE benefits.

Retired Uniformed Service Members

Retired military members who served as Uniformed Service Members can also be eligible for TRICARE benefits. Your family can also receive these insurance benefits. To qualify, you or your military sponsor must have retired from one of these military branches:

Example. If you are a retired member of the U.S. Navy, you and your family may be eligible for TRICARE benefits.

Medically-Retired Uniformed Service Members

If you or your military sponsor retired from service because of an injury or a disability, you may qualify for benefits, and your family may, too. To receive TRICARE coverage, you must have a health condition that prevents you from performing military duties, and must have a disability rating of 30% or more from the Department of Veteran’s Affairs. Having these two qualifications places you on the Temporary Disabled Retirement List (TDRL); after five years, you may be placed on the Permanent Disability Retirement List (PDRL) if your medical condition has not improved. Any service person on either list can receive TRICARE insurance benefits.

Example. If you are a U.S. Marine Corps member who has been medically retired due to a life-altering injury or disease, you may be eligible for TRICARE benefits. If that condition improves, you may lose TRICARE benefits. But, if that health situation remains the same and you are considered permanently disabled, you may be eligible to keep your insurance benefits.

TRICARE for National Guard and Reserve Members

TRICARE benefits are also available to National Guard and Reserve members, depending on activation, deactivation and retirement situations. Insurance coverage may differ for National Guard and Reserve individuals and families in comparison to benefits for Uniformed Service members. Eligibility is dependent upon your personal military status and situation, and can only be determined by completing the Reserve Component Purchased TRICARE Application. If you are a National Guard or Reserve member in any of these divisions, you may qualify for TRICARE benefits depending on your individual situation, and should complete the Reserve Component Purchased TRICARE Application:

  1. U.S. Air National Guard
  2. U.S. Air Force Reserve
  3. U.S. Army National Guard
  4. U.S. Army Reserve
  5. U.S. Marine Corps Reserve
  6. U.S. Navy Reserve
  7. U.S. Coast Guard Reserve

Example. If you are a retired member of the U.S. Navy, you may be eligible for TRICARE benefits.

TRICARE Eligibility for Dependents and TRICARE Eligibility After Divorce or Death

TRICARE coverage is available to family members whose sponsors have died, or will remain in place for those who are already covered. In situations where the military sponsor died during active duty, beneficiaries (family members of the deceased) are called “transitional survivors” in that their coverage will ultimately shift over the course of time. Initially after a serviceperson’s death, a health plan and cost will not change, though options are available to adjust to a family’s new needs.

Children remain covered until they “age out” of TRICARE eligibility — 21-years-old without obtaining a full-time education, 23-years-old while obtaining a full-time education, or by getting married. In some cases, children who are adult survivors may qualify for their own TRICARE health plan.

Coverage for widowed spouses changes after three years, in which case their eligibility shifts to that of a retired family member (as opposed to an active duty family member). TRICARE benefits may also change or cease if the surviving spouse chooses to select other forms of coverage or remarry.

Example. Lisa and her son, 10-year-old Ben, received TRICARE coverage through their spouse and father, James. After James was an active duty in the U.S. Marine Corps, and was killed in action in 2015. Lisa and Ben still receive TRICARE health benefits, and initially, there are no changes made to their plan. In 2018, three years after James’ death, Lisa has not remarried, and her coverage shifts from active military status to retired military status. Ben remains covered, and plans to attend college. His coverage will remain in place until he is 23-years-old.

Family benefits for retired service members may continue on after a sponsor’s death, with the exact same plan they had before. They remain eligible for TRICARE and may have options to modify their plan to reflect life changes.

In the case of National Guard or Reserve members, TRICARE coverage may continue for family members or end in a certain period of time. Families who lose a sponsor who is on active duty or were retired qualify for medical and dental benefits. If National Guard or Reserve members and their families had alternative plans through TRICARE, such as the Transitional Assistance Management Program or TRICARE Reserve Select, those benefits will generally expire within six months.

Example. Jane’s partner Mary served in the U.S. Army National Guard. Because Mary was not active duty, she used the TRICARE Reserve Select health benefit. After Mary’s death, Jane is notified that she will receive six months of additional health benefits. Following six months, Jane is no longer eligible for health coverage and is required to find another health insurer.

If you’re unsure about your military sponsor’s status when they died, that’s ok. A casualty assistance officer can help you determine that, along with other programs you may qualify for and how to address other needs. To reach a casualty assistance officer, contact Military OneSource (http://www.militaryonesource.mil/casualty).

WARNING: It is important to know that survivor benefits vary based on active duty or retirement status, and can differ greatly between based on military branch. It is important to always check your specific benefits to better understand how your plan will or will not continue on in the event of death.

TRICARE for Divorced Former Spouses

In some instances, former spouses may be eligible to receive TRICARE benefits based on their marriage status and the amount of time their spouse spent in the military. To qualify, spouses cannot be remarried, and they cannot have access to health insurance through an employer. Former spouses must also meet the “20-20-20” rule, which determines they are eligible if:

  1. The sponsor has 20 years of service towards retirement pay
  2. The former spouse and sponsor were married for at least 20 years
  3. All 20 years of marriage were during the 20 years of a sponsor’s service (the time must overlap)
  4. If this criteria is not met, a former spouse must meet the “20-20-15” rule, which determines they are eligible if:
  5. The sponsor has 20 years of service towards retirement pay
  6. The former spouse and sponsor were married for at least 20 years
  7. 15 years of marriage were during the 20 years of a sponsor’s service (the time must overlap)

If a former spouse meets these conditions, they are eligible to receive TRICARE benefits with their own policy, separate from those of their divorced spouse. If a former spouse chooses to remarry or obtain other insurance, they will lose their TRICARE eligibility.

Example. Martha and Paul were married for 23 years during Paul’s’ 25 year Air Force career. After they divorced, Martha applied for TRICARE benefits. Because Paul had more than 20 years of service, and the couple was married for more than 20 years — which overlapped Paul’s service time — Martha qualified for her own TRICARE health benefits plan.

Example. Megan and Joe were married for 8 years, and divorced while Joe was on active duty in the Army. Joe had only been in the Army for 10 years. After they divorced, Megan applied for TRICARE benefits. Because Joe had only been in the service for 10 years, she did not qualify. Megan also did not qualify because the couple was only married for 8 years, and did not meet the 20-year marriage requirement. Megan was required to find another insurance provider.

TRICARE Coverage for Children

Children can be covered through TRICARE until adulthood or they are married, whichever comes first, and even in cases of a sponsor’s death. In some cases, children may keep benefits if they have a disability, even as adults. Biological and adopted children are eligible for coverage. Stepchildren are also eligible so long as the sponsor and child’s parents are married, though if the parents divorce, a stepchild will lose health care benefits.

  1. TRICARE benefits are available to children of sponsors until:
  2. The child turns 21-years-old and is not seeking a full-time education
  3. The child turns 23-years-old while seeking a full-time education
  4. The child is married
  5. Parents of a step-child divorce
  6. Children who age out of eligibility potentially qualify for TRICARE health care plans offered to young adults.

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TRICARE for Dependent Parents and In-Laws

Parents and parents-in-law who rely on sponsors for care may qualify for some TRICARE benefits. Those who are eligible can receive medical attention in military hospitals and clinics, and receive some medications at military pharmacies, just like sponsors and their families. A military service member must be on active duty for more than 30 days for a parent or in-law parent to receive health care benefits.

TRICARE for Medal of Honor Recipients

Military personnel who receive the Medal of Honor are eligible for TRICARE, and their families are, too. The sponsor and their family can enroll regardless of if they are still on active duty, if they have separated from active duty, or if they have retired.

DEERS Registrants

If you are registered in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (also known as DEERS), its possible that you could sign up for TRICARE benefits. DEERS is a worldwide database that lists U.S. Armed Forces members and their families who may be eligible for medical benefits. Registering through DEERS is required to obtain TRICARE coverage (for more information, see How to Apply for TRICARE Benefits), and the system may analyze your unique military situation to determine if you qualify. While not every person who registers on DEERS may be eligible, the database is a good place to start when determining if you can obtain military health benefits.

Foreign Force Members

Foreign force members, and their families, are also eligible to apply for TRICARE benefits. But, these benefits do differ from U.S. Armed Forces benefits. Foreign Force personnel can either receive medical care in the United States in military hospitals and clinics, or military clinics and hospitals, as well as non-military health care providers; whichever designation you receive may depend upon your military organization and government agreements. To qualify for TRICARE as a Foreign Force member, you must:

  1. Be from a country that participates in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), or
  2. Be from a country that participates in the NATO Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), or
  3. Be from a country that participates in the Partnership for Peace Agreement (PFP), with or without a SOFA agreement, or
  4. Be From a country that participates in the Reciprocal Health Care Agreement

You must also:

  • Conduct business with the Department of Defense on military orders and within the United States
  • Be registered in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) and have a military identification card
  • Foreign force members should contact their home country’s embassy if they have questions about health care coverage through TRICARE.

Families of Military Personnel Who Are Missing in Action

If your sponsor has been deemed Missing in Action, you and your family may be eligible to receive TRICARE coverage. Inquire with your local identification card office to see if you or family members are eligible to obtain or keep health care benefits. To find a nearby identification card office, visit the Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC) website (https://www.dmdc.osd.mil).

Families of Court-Martialed and Discharged Service Members

If your sponsor has been discharged from service following a court-martial conviction, you or some members of your family may still qualify for TRICARE benefits. Inquire with your local identification card office to see if you or family members are eligible to obtain or keep health care benefits. To find a nearby identification card office, visit the Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC) website (https://www.dmdc.osd.mil).

Victims of Abuse/Domestic Abuse

Any person who has suffered abuse or domestic abuse from an active duty sponsor may qualify for health coverage benefits, as well as other assistance programs. After a sponsor separates from duty, victims may qualify for the Department of Defense Transitional Compensation Program, which provides:

  • Monthly compensation payments for up to 36 months
  • Use of base facilities for up to 36 months
  • Some basic TRICARE benefits for up to 36 months

After the transition time (between 12 and 36 months) is up, abuse victims will no longer receive TRICARE benefits, but can still receive services for health or mental health issues related to abuse from their active duty sponsor.

How Activating and Deactivating From Duty Affects Eligibility

Activating For Duty

National Guard or Reserve members generally receive different TRICARE benefits compared to active duty uniformed service members because of their status — essentially, you may receive fewer or limited benefits based on your duty status. But, National Guard or Reserve members who enter active duty are able to receive the same benefits as other active duty personnel.

Upon activating for duty, National Guard or Reserve members can choose a TRICARE plan that fits their needs, and will also receive active duty dental benefits. Your family members will also become eligible for TRICARE benefits.

WARNING: When your active duty orders are given can affect your health care benefits. In some cases, your benefits may begin up to 180 days based on when you are to report for duty, while other times, benefits may not begin until the first day of active duty. Be sure you understand when your benefits will begin when entering active duty status.

Deactivating From Duty

Leaving active duty status means you’ll transition from TRICARE benefits to another form of health insurance. But, how you’ll transition depends on your military operation, and if it was in support of a contingency operation or not.

In support: When you deactivate, you and your family will qualify for the Transitional Assistance Management Program (TAMP) and will receive health care coverage through this program for six months. After your TAMP eligibility ends, you’ll need to look at other options, such as the TRICARE Reserve Select program for National Guard and Reserve members, private insurance through an employer or through the Health Insurance Marketplace.

Not in support: When you deactivate, you and your family will not qualify for the Transitional Assistance Management Program (TAMP). When your active duty benefits are revoked, you will need to find another form of insurance, such as the

TRICARE Reserve Select program for National Guard and Reserve members, private insurance through an employer or through the Health Insurance Marketplace.

Any injuries, illnesses or medical issues you obtain during your time as an active duty service member will still receive care, regardless of your insurance status after deactivating. Line of duty care will help provide coverage for your recovery from that specific injury or illness, but does not provide you any other coverage — so it’s important that you make arrangements to find another form of health insurance.

How to Apply For TRICARE Benefits

Applying for TRICARE health benefits is relatively easy, and consists of three main steps:

  • Register for the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS)
  • Check health benefit eligibility
  • Select a TRICARE plan online

Anyone applying for TRICARE health benefits must first register in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS). The DEERS system is a global database that catalogs information about uniformed service members, their families and dependents, and anyone else who can receive military health benefits.

TRICARE Eligibility Verification and Utilizing the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS)

Enrollment: Military sponsors (any individual who is currently on active duty, is retired or is a National Guard or Reserve serviceperson) are automatically registered in DEERS, but they are responsible for registering their family members or dependents — family members are not automatically added to the system.

Up-to-date Information: It’s important to keep your DEERS information up-to-date, including a new address or contact information, or becoming eligible for Medicare. Career changes should also be noted, such as retiring or separating from active duty, activation or deactivation for National Guard or Reserve members, or changing rank or branch. You should update DEERS as soon as any big life event occurs, such as marriage or divorce, having a baby or a death in the family.

Failing to Update DEERS: If you forget or fail to update information on DEERS, your TRICARE coverage may lapse and you can lose health benefits. If this happens, simply updating your DEERS information can resolve the issue and health benefits will once again be granted.

Help with DEERS registration: Visit the Mil Connect site (www.dmdc.osd.mil/milconnect) or call the Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC) at 1-800-538-9552.

After registering with DEERS, you can login to the Mil Connect website (www.dmdc.osd.mil/milconnect) to determine if you eligible for TRICARE benefits, and what plans you may be eligible for.

If you qualify for health benefits, you can then proceed to the TRICARE website to explore plans and enroll in the one that best fits your needs.

Using TRICARE Benefits With Other Insurance

In some cases, its ok to use your TRICARE benefits along with other forms of insurance you may have. For active duty service members, TRICARE is the only insurance you’ll be able to use; part of your military and active duty benefits is TRICARE coverage and this requirement ensures that you’ll receive any medical attention you need without worry about insurance providers.

If you have health insurance through an employer or a private plan, you can use this in conjunction with TRICARE, but you should be aware that TRICARE benefits will be used last. That means your other form of insurance will be applied to medical services first, and TRICARE benefits will be applied to any remaining services. This doesn’t mean that all of your health care costs will be completely covered; for this reason, it’s important to understand what all of your insurance plans and providers cover and include.

If you use Medicare alongside TRICARE, you should understand that this is slightly different. Medicare is not considered other insurance; instead it’s considered a “federal entitlement.” This means that Medicare will cover some services, then any private or other forms of insurance will pay for services second. When using Medicare, TRICARE is always the last form of insurance that is applied to any medical services you receive.

WARNING: It’s important that you understand exactly what all your health insurance plans cover before receiving any health services. This can help you avoid bills or fees that your plan does not cover, and that you may not have expected to pay out of pocket. It may be necessary to keep track of what each insurance provider and plan covers, and review that before scheduling or receiving health care.

It is possible to lose TRICARE benefits, and for many reasons. If you are going to lose your TRICARE eligibility, you’ll first be notified, as well ever person in your family who is covered. In some cases, you may qualify for up to 180 day of temporary coverage through the Transitional Assistance Management Program (TAMP), or through the Continued Health Care Benefit Program (CHCBP). Now is the time to consider your other health insurance options, such as an employer’s health insurance or a private plan while you still have time.

The most common reasons for loss of coverage include:

  • Leaving active duty before being discharged
  • Divorce or remarriage
  • Aging out of TRICARE eligibility (for adult children)
  • Conflict issues with Medicare
  • Failing to Update DEERS

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Leaving Active Duty Before Being Discharged

If you or your sponsor chooses to separate (to leave active duty status before officially deactivating or retiring), you can lose your TRICARE benefits. If this is the situation, you may qualify for Transitional Assistance Management Program (TAMP) benefits to provide an additional 180 days of insurance. Following the extra six months of coverage, you’ll need to have a new form of insurance.

TRICARE after Divorce or Remarriage

In the case of divorce, a former spouse will lose their TRICARE benefits and eligibility, and it will be necessary to find a new health insurance provider. In some scenarios, former spouses can qualify for their own TRICARE plan and benefits (for more information, see the Former Spouses section under Understanding TRICARE Eligibility Requirements). Former spouses who received their own TRICARE coverage can lose their benefits upon remarrying, or by obtaining insurance through another provider. Stepchildren who were covered during marriage will also lose benefits if the sponsor and child’s parent divorce.

Aging Out of TRICARE Eligibility

Children who get married, reach age 21 or reach age 23 while working towards a degree full-time, are no longer eligible for TRICARE benefits. In this situation, children of sponsors can obtain their own TRICARE plan specifically geared towards young adults, which will cover many of their health care costs through age 26.

Conflict Issues With Medicare

TRICARE beneficiaries who also receive Medicare should be careful of how they manage the two insurance programs. If you receive Social Security benefits, you are also able to utilize Medicare Part A after some time. Failure to purchase access to Medicare Part B whenever it is first offered to you will terminate your eligibility for TRICARE. Military medical benefits can be used in conjunction with Medicare, so its beneficial to enroll in Medicare Part B whenever possible.

Failure to Update DEERS

Failing to keep information up-to-date in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) can cause your heath care benefits to lapse. Unlike many of the other issues that may cause you to become ineligible for TRICARE, a failure to update DEERS can be easily fixed. Keeping information as accurate and up-to-date as possible can prevent ineligibility from happening.

TRICARE and the Affordable Care Act

In many cases, TRICARE plans meets or exceeds the mandatory minimum requirements for health care coverage — that is, the legal amount of health insurance you must have. For National Guard and Reserve members who are not on active duty and have limited TRICARE plans, it’s important that you understand what your plan covers. In some cases, plans for National Guard and Reserve members do not meet the requirement for minimal coverage, and it’s possible that you’ll have to find supplemental health insurance elsewhere (such as through an employer or the health care marketplace) to avoid fines and receive the medical services you need.

 WARNING: Understanding your specific plan, what it provides and if it meets the standards for the Affordable Care Act is legally and financially important. Failing to have adequate coverage means you could be fined. To learn more about minimum health insurance requirements, visit www.healthcare.gov.

For further information or questions about TRICARE health benefits, contact a regional TRICARE contractor based on your location within the United States or internationally.

TRICARE Eligibility Phone Number

North Region, United States

Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Illinois, Indiana, Rock Island-Iowa area, Kentucky*, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, St. Louis-Missouri area, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin

*Excluding the Fort Campbell area, which falls in the South Region

North Region – Health Net Federal Services, LLC
PhoneWebsite
1-877-874-2273www.hnfs.com

South Region, United States

Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas*, and Fort Campbell, Kentucky

* Excluding the El Paso area, which falls in the West Region

South Region – Humana Military
PhoneWebsite
1-800-444-5445www.humanamilitary.com

West Region, United States

Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa*, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri**, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas***, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming

* Excluding the Rock Island Arsenal area, which falls in the North Region

** Excluding the St. Louis area, which falls in the North Region

*** Only the southwestern corner of the state, including El Paso

West Region – United Healthcare
PhoneWebsite
1-887-988-9378www.uhcmilitarywest.com

Eurasia-Africa Area, Overseas

Africa, Baltic States, Europe, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Middle Eastern countries, Pakistan, Ukraine and Russia

Eurasia-Africa Area
PhoneWebsite
Int’l SOS: +44-20-8762-8384www.tricare-overseas.com
Stateside: 1-877-678-1207

Latin America and Canada, Overseas

Canada, Caribbean Basic, Central America, Puerto Rico, South America, and the Virgin Islands

Latin America and Canada Area
PhoneWebsite
Int’l SOS: +1-215-942-8393www.tricare-overseas.com
Stateside: 1-877-451-8659

Pacific Area, Overseas

Asia, Australia, Guam, India, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, and remote countries in the Western Pacific

Pacific Area
PhoneWebsite
Int’l SOS, Singapore:+65-6339-2676www.tricare-overseas.com
Int’l SOS, Sidney:+61-2-9273-2710
Stateside: 1-877-678-1208/1209

Where to Learn More About Military Health Insurance

The Department of Defense’ TRICARE website (www.tricare.mil) can provide you with additional information about eligibility, health insurance plans you may qualify, and other factors that may be more specialized to your unique situation.

Visiting the Military Health System and the Defense Health Agency website (www.health.mil) may also provide you with general information about obtaining health insurance as an active service person or veteran.