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Learn About TRICARE for Life

TRICARE for Life is a health coverage option for eligible uniformed service members and their qualified beneficiaries. TRICARE for Life benefits are only available to those active or former service members who are also enrolled in both Medicare Parts A and B. This is an important distinction from other TRICARE plans. Understanding these requirements and potential benefits can help you to determine the best plan for you and for your family.

With a TRICARE for Life provider, you could pay no additional copayments or costs. However, this is based upon your enrollment in and payment of Medicare Part B premiums. TRICARE for Life eligibility is based primarily upon you qualifying for Medicare Part A and Part B. If you do not qualify for those, then you will not qualify for TRICARE for Life and will have to enroll in a different TRICARE plan. Be sure to confirm all of these eligibility requirements first.

What is TRICARE for Life?

TRICARE for Life and Medicare work together to provide full coverage for qualified service members and their family members. While other TRICARE plans incorporate different services, TRICARE for Life is based upon your eligibility for and enrollment in Medicare. You can always compare the many TRICARE plans on the TRICARE website so you can make sure you get the right coverage for you and for your family.

The TRICARE for Life phone number and contact details vary based on your location since there is both domestic and international coverage. That is why it is so important for you to make sure you fully understand the available TRICARE for Life benefits and options by downloading our free in-depth guide. The enrollment options, costs and more are all detailed there for your convenience.

Find Out About TRICARE for Life Benefits

TRICARE for Life claims can be made both domestically and abroad, which allows you to travel or to move overseas in your retirement without losing your coverage. Note that Medicare does not offer overseas coverage, but you still must pay your Part B monthly premiums in order to maintain your eligibility for TRICARE for Life.

TRICARE for Life insurance will pay after Medicare pays within the U.S. and U.S. territories. This means that you must seek medical services from a doctor who accepts Medicare payments. The TRICARE for Life cost can be minimal if you visit an appropriate provider. If you do not visit a qualifying provider, then you will be responsible for paying the additional costs that Medicare will not cover. This can end up being up to 80 percent of the total costs, so be sure to seek out the right provider by searching through the Medicare database to find the right one for you.

Between Medicare and TRICARE for Life, most basic and essential medical services are covered in full or at least in part. As with any health care insurance plan, you want to make sure you understand your options and limitations before you schedule any appointments or seek services.

Getting TRICARE for Life coverage for your medical needs is as simple as showing your Medicare card and your military ID, as long as you are appropriately enrolled in TRICARE for Life. If your coverage applies to your claim, then Medicare will pay for services first and then TRICARE will pay after that. You can pay no additional costs if your services are covered by both programs.

Learn About TRICARE Requirements

Finding out who is eligible for TRICARE for Life is a basic starting point to understanding this health care plan and its options. Eligibility for TRICARE for Life starts with your eligibility for any TRICARE health care plan, which includes qualified service members and their families.

Beyond that, TRICARE for Life qualifications specifically include those TRICARE-eligible enrollees who are also enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B. If you do not qualify for Medicare Part A and Part B, then TRICARE for Life is not the right plan for you. There are other options available that you can enroll in instead.

What does TRICARE for Life cover?

TRICARE for Life dental is an additional plan you must opt to include if you want that type of coverage. There is an active duty plan, a basic dental plan and also a retiree-specific dental plan that you can choose to add onto your coverage. Certain dental services are sometimes covered as an overlap with other plans, but you will generally want a full plan if you think you need full dental care coverage.

The TRICARE for Life premiums you pay are actually your Medicare Part B monthly premiums. You must continue to pay those costs in order to stay eligible to receive TRICARE for Life coverage. Any additional costs incurred could be the result of visiting an out-of-network provider, meaning a doctor who does not accept Medicare. The exact costs you might pay for services can vary based on your service status and the date you joined the military, so you will have to research those costs for yourself based on your specific circumstances. The TRICARE website offers that option so you can fully understand potential benefits and fees.

Also, note that your TRICARE for Life spouse coverage or other family member coverage can only be maintained if you keep your Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) account updated. Any life changes must be updated there so that all of your eligible beneficiaries can also receive the appropriate health care coverage under your TRICARE plan. If your family members are not listed in DEERS, then they will not be covered under your TRICARE health care plan.

Find out all you need to know about TRICARE for Life in our free comprehensive guide.