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TRICARE for Life

Doctor with an elderly patient.

TRICARE For Life (TFL) is Medicare wraparound coverage for TRICARE beneficiaries who have Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B, regardless of age or place of residence. With TFL, you have the freedom to seek care from any Medicare-participating or nonparticipating provider, or at a military hospital or clinic on a space-available basis. Enrollment is not required, but you must pay Medicare Part B premiums.

TFL is available worldwide, in the U.S. and its territories TFL pays after Medicare, in all other OCONUS areas TFL is the first payer.

TFL meets the requirements for minimum essential coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

How it Works

You may visit any authorized provider.

  • Your provider files your claims with Medicare. 
  • Medicare pays its portion and sends the claim to the TRICARE For Life claims processor. 
  • TRICARE For Life then pays the provider directly for TRICARE-covered services. 

You can get care at military hospitals and clinics, but only on a space-available basis. 

What You Pay

You don't pay any enrollment fees, but you must pay Medicare Part B monthly premiums. Your Part B premium is based on your income.

For more information about Medicare Part B visit our Medicare page.

You'll pay nothing out of pocket for services covered by both Medicare and TRICARE

  • for medical procedures covered by Medicare but not TRICARE (e.g. chiropractic services) you will be responsible for Medicare deductibles and cost shares
  • for medical procedures covered by TRICARE but not Medicare you are responsible for any TFL deductibles and cost shares
  • for medical procedures not covered by either TRICARE or Medicare (e.g. cosmetic surgery) you are responsible for the entire amount.


Medicare does not provide coverage outside the United States, U.S. territories (American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands), and ships in U.S. territorial waters. Therefore, TFL is your primary payer for health care received in all other overseas locations.. TFL generally provides the same coverage as TRICARE Overseas Standard and has the same deductible and cost-shares for beneficiaries who live or travel overseas.


TRICARE has implemented a new TRICARE For Life Pharmacy Pilot Program for all recipients living in the US and territories. This program requires you to to fill select maintenance medications via TRICARE Pharmacy Home Delivery or use a military pharmacy instead of using retail pharmacies. Maintenance medications are those you use on a regular basis for chronic health conditions (e.g., high cholesterol, blood pressure). These do not include medications needed for a sudden illness or infection. If you live OCONUS you still can get your prescriptions via TRICARE with no changes. See our TRICARE For Life Pharmacy Pilot Program page.

For More Information

For more information please visit the TRICARE For Life website.

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