The original purpose of TRICARE for Life (TFL) was to provide older veterans with life-long health care that they were entitled to while they were on active duty. As a TRICARE beneficiary, are you eligible for TRICARE for Life?
TRICARE for Life Ensures Continued Coverage
According to Military.com, before 2001, TRICARE beneficiaries saw the expiration of their TRICARE coverage once they reached age 65, which forced many military retirees, their dependents and survivors to rely solely on Medicare for assistance.
However, since 2001, the law has changed. When TRICARE beneficiaries become eligible for Medicare Part A and they purchase Medicare Part B, there is no actual break or termination of TRICARE coverage. TRICARE continues to support older retirees, by paying second to Medicare when they require medical attention.
TRICARE for Life is available to all dual TRICARE-Medicare members who are retirees (including retired reservists collecting a pension), and family members who are also Medicare-eligible qualify for TRICARE for Life. Widows and widowers, some former spouses (who are unremarried and meet the TRICARE eligibility requirements) and others under the age of 65 are also eligible, if they are registered disabled or they have chronic renal disease.
Who is Not Eligible for TRICARE for Life?
Dependent parents and parents-in-law cannot access TRICARE for Life health care benefits. However, dependent parents and parents-in-law can receive TRICARE Senior Pharmacy benefits at the local Military Treatment Facility (MTF) on a space-available basis. Provided your dependent parents or parents-in-law are entitled to Medicare Part A, and they were already 65 on or after 1 April 2001, and registered in Medicare Part B, they will be able to access TRICARE Senior Pharmacy benefits.
TRICARE for Life allows dual TRICARE-Medicare beneficiaries to continue to enjoy TRICARE coverage when they reach the age of 65, or otherwise meet the eligibility requirements due to disability or chronic renal disease. Some of the eligible TRICARE for Life beneficiaries include retired military personnel (including retired reservists), their dependents, and unremarried former spouses who meet the TRICARE eligibility requirements. If you are unsure of your TRICARE eligibility to TRICARE for Life, check your eligibility in DEERS by stopping by your closest uniformed ID card facility or by calling 1-800-538-9552.
TRICARE Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ), Who is eligible for TRICARE for Life (TFL)?
Military.com, TRICARE for Life.