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TRICARE for Retirees

Retiree With Spouse

Several TRICARE Plans are available to you and your family after you retire. Some TRICARE plans work in conjunction with MEDICARE while others serve to bridge the gap from when you leave the military to when you become eligible for MEDICARE.

It sounds like a complicated process but we will attempt to explain what your eligibility is to the various TRICARE programs available for retirees and their families.

  1. When you retire from active duty you are eligible to purchase TRICARE Prime, Select, or the US Family Health Plan. Once you reach age 65 you are no longer eligible for those programs, you can then purchase Medicare and TRICARE for Life.
  2. If you retire from the National Guard or Reserves you can purchase TRICARE Retired Reserve until age 60. At that time you can purchase either TRICARE Prime, Standard, or Extra. At age 65 you are no longer eligible for those programs, you can then purchase Medicare and TRICARE for Life.

TRICARE Health Plans

  • TRICARE Prime - Retirees and their families can purchase TRICARE Prime Coverage. Unlike active duty members, they have to pay an annual enrollment fee and copays for treatment See our TRICARE Prime Coverage Details for more information.
  • TRICARE Select - Retirees and their families can purchase TRICARE Select Coverage. All retirees have to pay a deductible amount of $150 per individual (no more than $300 per family). See our TRICARE Select Overview pages for more information.
  • US Family Health Plan - Retirees and their families can purchase coverage under the US Family Health Plan. Unlike active duty members, they have to pay an annual enrollment fee and copays for treatment
  • TRICARE Retired Reserve - Retired Guard or Reservists and their family members can purchase TRICARE Retired Reserve until they reach age 60, there is an enrollment fee, and copays for treatment.
  • TRICARE For Life -  Retirees over age 65 can purchase TRICARE for Life. For those living in the US, TRICARE For Life is a Medicare supplement. Medicare does not provide coverage outside the United States or U.S. territories . Therefore, TRICARE For Life is your primary payer for health care received in all other overseas locations.
  • MEDICARE - Medicare is Health Insurance for people 65 years of age and older, some people with disabilities under age 65, and people with End-Stage Renal Disease (permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or a transplant).

Dental Benefits

  • TRICARE Retiree Dental Program - The TRICARE Retiree Dental Program is a voluntary dental benefits program with enrollee-paid premiums. It is available worldwide to Uniformed Service retirees and their family members.

Pharmacy Benefits

  • TRICARE Pharmacy Program - The TRICARE Pharmacy Program provides the prescription drugs you need, when you need them, in a safe, easy, and cost-effective manner.
  • TRICARE Maintenance Medications Program - All persons taking select maintenance medications must receive refills via TRICARE Pharmacy Home Delivery or use a military pharmacy instead of using retail pharmacies.

Vision Benefits

  • TRICARE Vision Benefits - Some TRICARE programs offer free or reduced price eye examinations and corrective lenses.  
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Related Topics

TRICARE Military Retirement