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.
Via the Internet
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).
• 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sgt. Shaft was hatched in April of 1982 at the home of the veterans' newspaper, Stars & Stripes, in Washington, D.C. This moniker combines the name of its creator, John Fales, Marine MOS in Vietnam and "Scout Sgt.," with the military expression when wronged, "Shafted."
Sgt. Shaft's wry sense of humor, empathy for the underdog, and strong love of country and fellow veterans closely mirror the nature of its creator.
In addition to writing the column, John Fales is President of the Blinded American Veterans Foundation. His decorations include Purple Heart, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Service Medal, New York State Conspicuous Service Medal, Presidential Unit Citation, Combat Action Ribbon, and South Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry. Sgt. Shaft has no twin.