RPM Law

Can you still use TRICARE after a military divorce?

Health insurance is a big deal for many people these days, especially as they age. With a large number of older couples divorcing, retaining health insurance becomes a priority during the proceedings.

If you were a military spouse who used TRICARE for your medical insurance, you may be able to keep it. If you qualify under the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System, more commonly known as DEERS, you may sponsor yourself under your own Social Security number if your former sponsor (your former spouse) served at least 20 years that count toward retirement.

The "20-20-25" scenario

You may receive care under your own Social Security Number under the following scenario:

  • Your former spouse served at least 20 years that count toward retirement.
  • You and your ex-spouse were married for at least 20 years.
  • Your marriage and your former spouse's service overlapped by at least 15 years.

The date your marriage ended determines your coverage.

The "20-20-20" scenario

You may qualify for your own TRICARE policy as your own sponsor under the following scenario:

  • Your former spouse served at least 20 years that count toward retirement.
  • You and your ex-spouse were married for at least 20 years.
  • Your marriage and your former spouse's service overlapped by least 20 years.

Qualifying under this scenario can result in you receiving your own ID card with your Social Security number as the sponsoring number.

Losing eligibility

You can lose your eligibility for TRICARE if you remarry. If you qualify under your new spouse, you may be able to retain benefits upon divorce or death of your new spouse if you become eligible. You may also lose your eligibility if you obtain coverage through an employer-sponsored health plan or if you purchase one. You may lose your eligibility in other ways as well. It may be a good idea to understand all scenarios in which you could lose your TRICARE coverage now that you are no longer married to your former sponsor.

Obtaining the benefits you need

Military divorces include issues above and beyond those of civilians, even in retirement. You may be entitled to certain benefits, depending on the length of your marriage and the length of your former spouse's service toward retirement. In order to help ensure that you get all of the benefits that you deserve as a former military spouse, it may be in your best interests to consult with an Arizona attorney who routinely assists and advises those in your position.

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