Sign up for the Spouse & Family Newsletter

Popular Spouse Benefits Articles

Military Life 101

  • job fair
    Military Spouse Employment 101
    While the military will always throw a monkey wrench in any best-laid plans, your career doesn't have to be one of them.
  • (Photo: U.S. Department of Education)
    Military Spouse Education Help 101
    Good news for you: Being a military spouse can actually make some parts of going back to school easier.
  • (Photo: U.S. Navy)
    Military Life 101
    Military life has a lot of nuts and bolts. You know, the little things that make up just an ordinary day.
  • stack of one dollar bills
    Military Spouse and Family Benefits 101
    Don't know exactly how to get your military spouse and family benefits or want to know more about what they are? Read on.
  • Movers at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, load up a truck with household goods. Jose Ramirez/Air Force
    Military Spouse and Family Moves 101
    Whether you're an old pro or new to the military moving game, there's stuff to learn about PCSing. Here's our easy PCS 101 guide.
  • (Photo: U.S. Marine Corps/Lance Cpl. Sullivan Laramie)
    Military Family Deployment 101
    Preparing for deployment can seem like an uphill battle. But we've been there. Here's what you need to know.
  • Military family
    Military Family Life 101
    Military life is not easy, but we've got your back. From marriage to kids and parenting, we have the resources you need.

Q&B: If My Spouse Gives Up His Benefits Can I Have Them?

(Photo: U.S. Navy)
(Photo: U.S. Navy)

Dear Q&B —

A friend of mine said her husband gave up his free military eye surgery so she got to get it instead. Can my husband do the same thing? My eyes are terrible and I hate my glasses.

Four eyes

Dear Four Eyes —

That’s not how military health benefits work, sorry. The only military benefit that can be transferred to a family member if a service member decides not to use it is the Post 9-11 GI Bill education benefit. Other than that, you’re on your own.

As far as corrective eye surgery goes, Tricare does not cover any kind for spouses or family members. That means your friend definitely didn’t get laser eyesight correction or any other kind of eye help (other than an annual eyesight exam) paid for by Tricare.

Active duty and activated military members, however, are often provided with care to which family members don’t typically have access. That includes chiropractic care and corrective eye surgery.

However, as with all medical care, military treatment facilities (MTF) can choose to provide or cover certain care for family members that aren’t typically covered by Tricare. Those procedures are often done on a case-by-case basis with a huge waiting list. They include things like vasectomy reversal and elective plastic surgery for spouses. This could also be the case for corrective eye surgery. 

But even if you could convince providers at your MTF to perform any given procedure on you, it would have nothing to do with whether or not your husband also had it done or not. That’s just not how the system works. 

Team Q&B

-- Do you have a question about your benefits? Email the Questions and Benefits team at

Related Topics

Questions and Benefits TRICARE

Military News App by

Download the new News App for Android on Google Play or for Apple devices on iTunes!

Featured VA Loan Articles