I’ve recently reconciled with my ex-husband, who is active-duty military. If we got remarried, would I be eligible for Tricare again?
If you marry an active-duty service member, you are eligible for Tricare, regardless of how many times you marry him.
For a spouse to actually use Tricare benefits, the service member/sponsor must ensure the spouse has a military ID card and is properly registered in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS), the Defense Department’s eligibility portal for Tricare. This can be done at any installation ID Card/DEERS office or by calling the main DEERS support office toll-free at 1-800-538-9552.
I’m a retired Navy Reservist, 66 years old and currently covered under Medicare and Tricare for Life. My late wife was enrolled in DEERS and covered under Tricare until her death in 2009. I’m now dating a woman who is 61 years old. If I marry her, will she become eligible for DEERS enrollment and Tricare (until her 65th birthday)?
Yes, as the wife of a retiree, she would be fully eligible for Tricare coverage, either Tricare Prime or Tricare Standard, under your sponsorship as long as she is properly registered in DEERS. Furthermore, her eligibility would not end at age 65; at that time, she would become eligible for Tricare for Life, the same as you have now.
My mom had full Tricare benefits after her marriage of 21 years to my dad, which ended in divorce. When she married another military member (that marriage lasted only 7 years), she lost her Tricare benefits after the second divorce. She is now in her 60s and is not covered under any health insurance. Can she reinstate or reapply for Tricare benefits using her first marriage of 21 years as qualification?
I’m afraid that by remarrying, your mom lost the Tricare benefits she had under her first husband’s sponsorship — for good. The rules for former spouses who meet the so-called “20/20/20” rule for continued Tricare coverage after divorce are very clear and unambiguous: Former spouses who meet the 20/20/20/ requirements may retain Tricare coverage indefinitely — unless they remarry. If they remarry, Tricare coverage under the original spouse’s sponsorship is terminated, and it cannot be restored under that original sponsorship even if the second marriage ends in death or divorce.
If your mother is at least age 65, she may be eligible for Medicare. If not, her only option may be to look into a commercial individual health care plan.
Q. I plan to retire soon. I have over 20 years of active-duty service and am divorced. If I remarry after I retire, will my spouse be eligible for Tricare?
Your new wife will become legally eligible for Tricare the moment you kiss the bride.
Before she can use Tricare, however, you have to contact your Personnel Section to get her registered in DEERS and have a military ID card issued to her.
I strongly suggest that you teach her the ropes about DEERS, ID cards, and Tricare. Once you decide whether to enroll her in Tricare Standard or Tricare Prime, call your regional Tricare Service Center and request a free Handbook for the plan she is enrolled in. If she will be living with you near a military hospital, Tricare Prime is the recommended plan.
For answers to any questions about Tricare eligibility that your Personnel Section can’t answer properly, please call the DEERS Support Office, toll-free, at 1-800-538-9552. DEERS can’t help you with information about the Tricare program or your wife’s Tricare claims. DEERS deals with eligibility issues only.
For program or claims questions or problems, call your regional Tricare Service Center.
My husband and I recently got divorced and I obviously lost my Tricare. Thankfully, we have since reconciled and all is going great. My question is, if we remarry after he retires with full benefits, will I be able to get covered under his Tricare again?
Congratulations for your reconciliation. At the moment you become legally married to an active duty or retired uniformed service member, you immediately become eligible for Tricare. To use Tricare, however, your husband must register you with DEERS, just as he did the first time. You will need a new military ID card, just as before.
In other words, nothing will change except that you were not eligible for Tricare coverage of any medical care you received during the period when you were not married.
Your Tricare coverage ended on the date your divorce was final. It will begin again on the date you remarry. Please note that the date the medical care is received is controlling. If you marry on Wednesday, medical care you got on Tuesday cannot be covered.
To confirm the above, and for any help or guidance needed to re-establish your Tricare eligibility, please call the DEERS Support Office, toll-free, at 1-800-538-9552.