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Are You and Your Children Covered by TRICARE?

March 7, 2012

TRICARE is a health benefit that covers all seven parts of the military, including Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, Public Health Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. In order to use TRICARE, you also be listed in DEERS and be eligible for military health care benefits. You are eligible for TRICARE if you are an active duty service member, spouse or unmarried child of an active duty service member, uniformed service retirees (and their spouses and unmarried children), Medal of Honor recipient and family, un0remarried former spouse and unmarried children of active duty or retired service member, spouses and unmarried children of reservists and National Guardsmen, as well as certain cases of abused spouses.

You are also eligible if you are a former spouse of active, retired or former military members may be eligible for TRICARE if they meet certain requirements as follows: 1) You must not have remarried; you must also not be covered by an employer-sponsored health plan; you also must not be covered by an employer-sponsored health plan; must not be the former spouse of a North Atlantic Treaty Organization or Partners for Peace nation member; or you must meet the requirements of three other situations. These three situations can be read on the TRICARE fact sheet located at

Much of these requirements state that unmarried children are eligible for benefits. There are some special inclusions and age requirements for this group. If you are an unmarried child of an eligible service member and you are not over 21, then you are covered by TRICARE, even if your mom and dad get divorced or remarry. Only a stepchild will lose eligibility if not adopted. A child who is over 21 can still receive coverage if disabled and the condition existed before the child's 21st birthday. Children who were born out of wedlock may be eligible for TRICARE under certain conditions, which must be requested from the Beneficiary Counseling and Assistance Coordinator.

Children may still receive TRICARE if going to school and under the age of 21. In addition, active duty and spouses of active duty service members are also still eligible. Your status at college also does not affect your eligibility for the program. If you are not currently receiving TRICARE benefits, then you should get in contact with your VA advisor or talk to a Health Benefits Adviser at a TRICARE Service Center.

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