Tricare for Life

Military Retiree With Spouse

What is Tricare for Life?

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 and in the U.S. and its territories. Those living outside the U.S. can use Tricare Select Overseas as an alternative.

How Tricare for Life 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 With Tricare for Life

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.

  • Services covered by both Medicare and Tricare: You'll pay nothing out of pocket

  • Medical procedures covered by Medicare only (e.g. chiropractic services): You will be responsible for Medicare deductibles and cost shares

  • Medical procedures covered by Tricare only: You are responsible for any TFL deductibles and cost shares

  • Medical procedures not covered by Tricare or Medicare (e.g. cosmetic surgery): You are responsible for the entire amount

Using TFL Overseas

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), or 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 Select Overseas and has the same deductible and cost shares for beneficiaries who live or travel overseas.

Tricare Pharmacy

If you are enrolled in any Tricare health plan, you are automatically enrolled in the Tricare Pharmacy Program. All persons taking select maintenance medications are limited to two refills at retails pharmacies and otherwise must receive refills via Tricare Pharmacy Home Delivery or use a military pharmacy.

For more information, please visit the Tricare for Life website.

Keep Up with Changes to Tricare and Your Other Benefits

Want to know about changes in military benefits as they happen? Subscribe to to get the latest benefits news delivered directly straight to your inbox.

Story Continues
Tricare Benefits