How To Sign Up For Tricare After Retirement


Premium And Payment Information

FEHB and Medicare | Do I Need Both as a Retired Federal Employee?

All eligible members are offered the same level of benefits for one monthly rate.

Type of Coverage
Member and family $229.99

Rates for TRS are subject to change every calendar year . Monthly premium payments are not applied toward the annual catastrophic cap.

Your initial monthly premium payment can be made with a check, money order, cashier’s check, Visa® or MasterCard®, including credit, debit and prepaid cards. Ongoing monthly premium payments must be established during enrollment and made by an automatic payment method:

  • electronic funds transfer

Learn more about payment method options.

If you fail to pay the total premium amount due, you will be disenrolled from TRS, effective the day following your policy paid-through date. Claims for services after your disenrollment date will not be paid under your TRS coverage. TRICARE policy requires a 12-month TRS lockout period if you are disenrolled for nonpayment.

If your payment is declined, you will be charged a $20 administrative fee in addition to the outstanding payment amount. The replacement payment is first applied to the $20 fee with the remaining amount applied to the monthly premium payment. Therefore, if you only send the amount of the monthly premium payment after being charged an administrative fee, you will be short on the payment and subject to disenrollment.

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.

Failure To Update Deers

Failing to keep information up-to-date in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System 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.

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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 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
  • Check your health benefit eligibility through DEERS
  • Select a TRICARE plan online that benefits your unique situation or family needs

Tricare Differences Between Military Branches

35,000 Military Retirees Will Soon See a Tricare Refund

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.

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How Tricare For Life Works With Medicare Plans

TRICARE For Life may work with Original Medicare , a Medicare Advantage plan or a Part D prescription drug plan.

However, you may want to think carefully about whether you need Medicare drug coverage. TRICARE ForLife includes a prescription drug benefit, so you may not need Part D. If you have TRICARE For Life and decide you want to enroll in Part D coverage, you can do it at any time. The TRICARE drug benefit is considered creditable coverage, which means it is at least as good as Medicare Part D. This allows you to sign up without paying the Part D late enrollment penalty.

When you have TRICARE For Life and Medicare, you wont receive a TRICARE wallet card. You only need your Medicare plan card and military ID as proof of coverage.

Retiree Health Care Options Under Age 60

Once a member retires from the Reserve Component, he or she loses access to the subsidized Tricare Reserve Select plan. They become eligible to participate in the Tricare Retired Reserve plan, which is similar to Tricare Reserve Select, but without any subsidies, and a higher Catastrophic Cap. The retiree must pay 100% of the premiums if they wish to participate in the plan. And its fairly expensive, at least compared to what you may be used to.

Without subsidies, Tricare Retired Reserve comes in at roughly $444/mo for the individual and about $1,066/mo for a family plan. The Catastrophic Cap for Tricare Retired Reserve is $3,655 per family, per fiscal year. This is more expensive than Tricare Reserve Select, but it may or may not be more affordable than anything you can find through an employer or on one of the health insurance exchanges.

Guard and Reserve retirees may also be eligible for some special military health care programs if they were on active duty at the time of their retirement .

These programs may include:

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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.

Tricare Coverage For Children

Tricare For Life (TFL) – Great News

Children can be covered through TRICARE until adulthood or they are married, whichever comes first, and even in cases of a sponsors 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 childs parents are married, though if the parents divorce, a stepchild will lose health care benefits.

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

    TRICARE is the health insurance program for military beneficiaries. Active duty servicemembers and their dependents are mostly exempt from TRICARE fees however, this changes with a change in status . Coverage and fees can vary with regard to the TRICARE coverage elected and depend on whether: the military sponsor is on active duty or retired, the beneficiary is eligible for Medicare, or the beneficiary uses military or civilian facilities for health care and medications.


    **See also U.S. Family Health Plan

    Under current law, military disability retirees are exempt from annual increases in TRICARE Prime enrollment fees and pharmacy copayments that apply to non-disability retirees. Military disability retirees do not include all retirees who have a disability rating from the VA. They only include those who received a medical retirement from their branch of service. To ensure exemption from future annual fee increases, retirees in this category should contact DEERS to ensure their records reflect the medical/disability retirement as a Chapter 61 retiree.

    Medicare and TRICARE benefits for SSDI-eligible members under age 65 are identical to those TFL-eligible members over age 65. This is known as dual-eligible, meaning beneficiaries are eligible for both TRICARE and Medicare under age 65.

    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
    • 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 . 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.

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    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

    • Phone: 1-877-874-2273

    To Do List Following A Qle

    How long do you keep Tricare after you get out of the military ...
  • Add or remove a family member in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System by visiting your local ID card office . Note: Only sponsors can add or remove family members.
  • Update your or your familys information on milConnect. Once a family member is added to DEERS, that family member can make changes to their information in milConnect.
  • Make necessary enrollment changes with Health Net Federal Services, LLC online, by mail or by phone. The effective date will be the date the QLE occurred and it must be requested within 90 days.
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    Adding A Newborn Or Adopted Child

    Active Duty Service Members and Their Family Members

  • Register the child in DEERS.
  • Once registered in DEERS, your child’s enrollment in a TRICARE plan is automatic. The effective date will be the first day of the QLE.
  • In most circumstances, ADFMs who reside in a Prime Service Area are automatically enrolled in TRICARE Prime.
  • In most circumstances, ADFMs who reside outside of a PSA are automatically enrolled in TRICARE Select.
  • Important! Use the self-service tools on this website or milConnect to confirm your child’s TRICARE plan enrollment within 90 days of the birth or adoption. Any changes to enrollment must be made within 90 days of the QLE.
  • Retirees and Their Family Members

  • Register the child in DEERS.
  • Enroll in a TRICARE plan with HNFS within 90 days of the birth or adoption. The effective date will be the first day of the QLE.
  • TRICARE Reserve Select /TRICARE Retired Reserve

  • Register the child in DEERS.
  • Enroll in a TRICARE plan with HNFS within 90 days of the birth or adoption. The effective date will be the first day of the QLE. Requests received outside of the 90-day window will be effective the day the request is received.
  • All newborn and adopted child claims will be held until the TRS enrollment request is processed. If enrolled within 90 days of the QLE, claims for services on or after the effective date of enrollment will be processed. Any claims for services prior to the effective date of enrollment will be denied.

    Guard And Reserve Health Care Options In Retirement

    Retired members of the Guard and Reserves have several retirement plans available to them, depending upon their age, and believe it or not, where they live. Lets break this down by age because it isnt until age 60 that retired members of the Reserve Corps are eligible to receive Tricare Prime, the same military health care offered to active duty retirees. Prior to age 60, retired members of the Reserve Component are referred to as Gray Area Retirees because they are eligible for some military retirement benefits, but not all of them .

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    Who Can Participate

    • Retired Reserve members who are:
    • Members of the retired Reserve of a Reserve Component who are qualified for non-regular retirement under 10 U.S.C., Chapter 1223
    • Under age 60
    • Not eligible for, or enrolled in, the Federal Employees Health Benefits program
  • Family members of qualified Retired Reserve members
  • Survivors of retired Reserve members if:
  • The sponsor was covered by TRICARE Retired Reserve when he or she died.
  • They are immediate family members of the deceased sponsor .
  • TRICARE Retired Reserve coverage would begin before the date the deceased sponsor would have turned 60 years old.
  • Survivor coverage is not affected by FEHB eligibility.
  • How To Use Mypay

    Medical, Dental, Vision Insurance for Retired Veterans, TRICARE, FEDVIP

    About Ryan Guina

    Ryan Guina is The Military Wallet’s founder. He is a writer, small business owner, and entrepreneur. He served over six years on active duty in the USAF and is a current member of the Illinois Air National Guard.

    Ryan started The Military Wallet in 2007 after separating from active duty military service and has been writing about financial, small business, and military benefits topics since then. He also writes about personal finance and investing at Cash Money Life.

    Ryan uses Personal Capital to track and manage his finances. Personal Capital is a free software program that allows him to track his net worth, balance his investment portfolio, track his income and expenses, and much more. You can open a free Personal Capital account here.

    Featured In: Ryan’s writing has been featured in the following publications: Forbes,, US News & World Report, Yahoo Finance, Reserve & National Guard Magazine , Military Influencer Magazine, Cash Money Life, The Military Guide, USAA, Go Banking Rates, and many other publications.

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    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 are called transitional survivors in that their coverage will ultimately shift over the course of time. Initially after a servicepersons death, a health plan and cost will not change, though options are available to adjust to a familys 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 . TRICARE benefits may also change or cease if the surviving spouse chooses to select other forms of coverage or remarry.

    Family benefits for retired service members may continue on after a sponsors 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.

    Retired National Guard Or Reserve Members

    Benefits for retired Reserve members are different depending on the sponsor’s age:

    • You may be eligible for dental coverage through the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program . > > Learn more
    • If under age 60, you may qualify to purchase TRICARE Retired Reserve.
    • At age 60, you and your family are eligible for the same benefits as all other retired service members .

    Learn more about benefits for retired Reserve members.

    If you become eligible for Medicare under age 65 for a disability or any other reason, you must have Medicare Part B to keep TRICARE. > > Learn more about Medicare and TRICARE

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    How To Set Up An Allotment

    • Online: Use our Manage My Payment tool .
    • Telephone self-service: Call 1-844-866-WEST . You do not need to speak to a live representative. After entering your sponsor information, select option 4 , then option 4 again to make an enrollment payment, and then option 2. You can then make a payment and/or set up automatic payments.
    • Paper application:
    • If currently enrolled in TRICARE Prime or Select and pay enrollment fees: Complete and return the Enrollment Fee Allotment Authorization with your next payment.
    • If enrolling in TRICARE Prime or Select during Open Season or after a qualifying life event: Complete section VI of the TRICARE Prime application or TRICARE Select application.

    Based on when you submit your request, you may need to pay up to three months up front when establishing allotment payments. TRICARE beneficiaries who do not pay required enrollment fees are subject to disenrollment.

    Tricare And Retirement: Steps To Help You Get Ready

    Deadlines for military retirement plan, Tricare retiree benefits coming ...

    Editors Note: This article is part of MOAAs 2021-22 TRICARE Guide, brought to you by MOAA Insurance Plans, administered by Mercer Consumer. A version of the guide appeared in the November 2021 issue of Military Officer magazine.

    When you transition into military retirement, you will need to navigate substantial changes in health care. Here is a look at whats ahead.

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    Losing/gaining Other Health Care Coverage

    If you lose or gain other health coverage such as other health insurance , or Medicaid or Medicare entitlement, you can make changes to your TRICARE coverage within 90 days.

    • If you are gaining OHI, in most cases, TRICARE will become your secondary payer for TRICARE covered services. If you are losing OHI, TRICARE will become your primary payer. Visit our How TRICARE Works with Other Health Insurance page to learn more.
    • A loss of Medicare coverage due to failing to sign up for Medicare on time or failing to pay Medicare premiums not considered a QLE.

    How Does Medicare Work With My Job

    Once you stop working, Medicare will pay first and any retiree coverage or supplemental coverage that works with Medicare will pay second.

    You may be able to get COBRA coverage to continue your health insurance through the employers plan .

    Dont wait until your COBRA coverage ends to sign up for Part B Getting COBRA doesnt extend your limited time to sign up for Medicare.

    If you get COBRA:

    This happens:

    Before you sign up for Medicare

    Your COBRA coverage will probably end when you sign up for Medicare.

    After you sign up for Medicare

    COBRA pays after Medicare .

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