Tricare users will need to identify themselves and their families on their 2014 tax forms as having healthcare coverage, Defense Department officials said, or risk paying a fine.
The Affordable Care Act requires Americans to hold what is known as "minimum essential coverage," for their healthcare, either through their employer or purchased elsewhere. Those who did not have that coverage for 2014 could be charged a series of fees.
But not every Tricare user may meet those requirements, officials warned. Some dependent parents and parents-in-law receive Tricare as part of the Tricare Plus program, which allows them to use some military treatment facilities. That care does not meet the minimum coverage requirements, and those users could face fines if they do not purchase additional coverage, officials said.
Also, Guard and Reservists who are receiving Tricare-provided line of duty care for an injury received during service do not meet the minimum through Tricare alone.
Officials also warned that if a service member of family member's Tricare eligibility ended recently due to transitioning out of the military or aging out of coverage, they will need to purchase additional coverage.
All Tricare enrolled active duty service members and retirees meet the coverage minimums, officials said. Those covered under purchased Reserve Select, Reserve Retiree and Tricare Young Adult also meet the requirements.
Over 250,000 Defense Department beneficiaries are eligible for Tricare.
Correction: A DoD press release incorrectly stated that the DoD will be sending tax forms to Tricare users. They have since said that is not true. This story was edited after publication to reflect that change.
-- Amy Bushatz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org