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TRICARE for Life

Old friends on walk, laughing with text "Learn how TRICARE and Medicare work together."

TRICARE for Life (TFL) is available to TRICARE beneficiaries (military retirees and spouses) who have Medicare Part A and Part B, regardless of age or where you live.

What is TRICARE For Life?

TRICARE For Life (TFL) provides comprehensive health care coverage. You have the freedom to seek care from any Medicare-participating or Medicare non-participating provider, or military hospital or clinic if space is available. Medicare-participating providers file your claims with Medicare. After paying its portion, Medicare automatically forwards the claim to TRICARE for processing. TRICARE pays after Medicare and Other Health Insurance (OHI) for TRICARE-covered health care services.

TRICARE Eligibility

You are eligible for TFL on the first date you have both Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B. When you are entitled to premium-free Medicare Part A, Medicare Part B may or may not be required.

Medicare Part B coverage is required to remain TRICARE-eligible if you are a(n):

  • Retired service member (including retired National Guard and Reserve members drawing retirement pay)
  • Family member of a retired service member
  • Medal of Honor recipient or eligible family member
  • Survivor of a deceased sponsor
  • Eligible former spouse

Medicare Part B coverage is not required to remain TRICARE-eligible if:

  • You are an active duty service member (ADSM) or active duty family member (ADFM)
    • ADSMs remain eligible for TRICARE Prime or TRICARE Prime Remote. ADFMs remain eligible for TRICARE Prime, TRICARE Prime Remote or TRICARE Select options while the sponsor is on active duty. However, when the sponsor retires, you must have Medicare Part B to remain TRICARE-eligible.
  • You are enrolled in TRICARE Reserve Select (TRS), TRICARE Retired Reserve (TRR), TRICARE Young Adult (TYA), or the US Family Health Plan (USFHP)
    • While you are not required to have Medicare Part B to remain eligible for TRS, TRR, TYA, or USFHP, you are strongly encouraged to sign up for Medicare Part B when first eligible to avoid paying a late- enrollment premium surcharge.

TRICARE Handbook

For more details on TRICARE For Life coverage, eligibility, and more, click the link below to view and download the TRICARE For Life Handbook.