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A Vet Asks About Wife’s TRICARE Prime Eligibility

Dear Sgt. Shaft:

My wife and I are both enrolled in TRICARE Prime. When I turn 65 and become eligible for TRICARE For Life, will my wife who is 9 years younger still be eligible for TRICARE Prime? If so, how much will it cost us?

(TRICARE is the health care program serving uniformed service members, retirees and their families worldwide.)

I appreciate any information that you can give me.

Thank you,
Jose D.
Via the Internet

Dear Jose:

My sources tell me that once you turn age 65 and enroll in Medicare Parts A and B and TRICARE for Life, your spouse will stay on TRICARE Prime until she reaches age 65. As long as you only have your spouse as a dependent and you have no other dependents under your TRICARE Prime plan, you will pay the single rate ($269.68) of instead of the family rate ($538.56).

Shaft notes

• Congratulations to Eric K. Shinseki, secretary of Veterans Affairs, who is being honored by the Parkinson’s Action Network (PAN) with the Morris K. Udall Award for Public Service for his efforts on behalf of veterans with Parkinson’s disease. Under his leadership, the Department of Veterans Affairs has pioneered a range of programs that have directly impacted the Parkinson’s community.

PAN will honor Mr. Shinseki at the Morris K. Udall Awards Dinner on Oct. 8 in Washington, D.C.

The dinner benefits PAN and supports the Parkinson’s community. This event is PAN’s only fundraiser, and almost 20 percent of the annual income comes from friends and supporters of the dinner.

Send letters to Sgt. Shaft, c/o John Fales, P.O. Box 65900, Washington, D.C. 20035-5900; fax 301/622-3330, call 202/257-5446 or email

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Sgt. Shaft