Members of the Retired Reserves below age 60 -- so called "gray area" retirees are not eligible for TRICARE health care benefits. However, gray area retirees are eligible for the TRICARE Retiree Dental Program, which is explained later.
Reserve Component (RC) retirees become eligible for TRICARE benefits when they reach age 60 and begin receiving retirement pay. TRICARE eligibility remains in force until age 65. Upon reaching age 65, TRICARE ends, and you become eligible for Medicare. For information on TRICARE, contact the Beneficiary Service Representative or Health Benefits Advisor at your nearest military treatment facility.
Reserve retirees are eligible for Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical care on a space-available basis. However, there are many limitations and eligibility requirements. As a retired member of the Guard or Reserve, you should not rely solely on VA services as your only source of health care. If you are a "gray area" retiree you should consider obtaining individual or family health insurance plan for medical coverage through your new employer.
Another option is to purchase extended transitional health care coverage (CHCBP) for up to 18 months of coverage. You have 60 days after separation to enroll in CHCBP. Your coverage will start the day after your separation.
For more information visit CHCBP website or call their toll-free line at 1-800-444-5445.
Supplemental Health Insurance for Reserve Retirees
One short stay in the hospital could offset the cost of several years of supplement health insurance. Even though you are covered by TRICARE, a supplemental insurance policy is a good idea for retirees. Here's why:
If you are covered by health insurance with your new employer, you may use TRICARE as your supplemental insurance for that policy. Check with your TRICARE advisor concerning your particular circumstances and those of your family.
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