I am a retired Marine. If I get married, is my new wife eligible for Tricare for Life if I enroll her in DEERS? What medical benefits will she get?
If you are entitled to receive retired pay, you are probably also entitled to Tricare. And, if you are entitled to Tricare, your wife will be entitled also, just as soon as you kiss the bride.
You will have to register her with DEERS and get her a military ID card before she can use Tricare, but that won’t take long to do. If you need instructions or other help for getting her on the program, please call the DEERS Support Office, toll-free, at 1-800-538-9552. That office can answer all your questions about Tricare eligibility and walk you through the registration process with your new wife.
You can enroll your wife in Tricare Standard, which is free, but she will have a $150 deductible every fiscal year and a copayment of 25 percent of the amount Tricare allows on each of her claims up to a total of $3,000 for the two of you.
Then there is Tricare Prime, which is not available everywhere. But, if you live in an area where you can get Prime, it’s the least expensive in terms of out-of-pocket costs. Prime, however, has a yearly enrollment fee of $260 per person, or $520 for a family of two or more people. Prime is also great because it gives you priority access to free care in military hospitals.
Finally, you mentioned Tricare for Life. That’s the best deal of all, and I get the idea you already know about it. If your new wife is entitled to Medicare and is enrolled in Part A and Part B, she is set for life Tricare for Life.
If you go to the Tricare web site, you can get official information about all Tricare plans and rules, including the free Tricare Pharmacy Program. Note: Do not enroll your wife in the Medicare Pharmacy Program, called Medicare Part D. She won’t need it, and it will block her from using the Tricare Mail Order Pharmacy Plan, which is a big money-saver. If she is already enrolled in Part D, she can call Medicare and cancel it.
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