What is TRICARE For Life?
TRICARE for Life (TFL) is available to military retirees and spouses with Medicare Part A and Part B. TRICARE beneficiaries are eligible regardless of age or where they live. TRICARE For Life (TFL) provides comprehensive health care coverage. It offers freedom to seek care from any Medicare-participating or non-participating providers. This includes military hospitals or clinics if space is available. Medicare-participating providers file your claims with Medicare. After paying its portion, Medicare forwards the claim to TRICARE for processing. TRICARE pays after Medicare and Other Health Insurance for TRICARE-covered health care services.
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 for:
- Active duty service members (ADSM) or active duty family members.
- Active Duty Service Members remain eligible for TRICARE Prime or TRICARE Prime Remote. Family members remain eligible for TRICARE Prime, TRICARE Prime Remote or TRICARE Select options while the sponsor is on active duty. When the sponsor retires, they must have Medicare Part B to remain TRICARE-eligible.
- Those enrolled in TRICARE Reserve Select, TRICARE Retired Reserve, TRICARE Young Adult, or the US Family Health Plan.
- It is not required to have Medicare Part B to remain eligible for TRS, TRR, TYA, or USFHP. However, it is strongly encouraged to sign up for Medicare Part B when first eligible. This helps avoid the risk of paying a late enrollment premium surcharge.
Visit Tricare's website to download the TRICARE for Life Handbook which provides an overview the TRICARE for Life program.