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Understanding Tricare and military divorce

When a military couple gets divorced, there are often many questions surrounding Tricare, and whether the benefits will live on for both spouses. There are also many questions that arise in regard to what paperwork updates should be completed in relation to Tricare when getting a divorce.

First, it is important to note that the sponsor should make administration updates as soon as possible so that Tricare administrators know about the divorce. This can be done by updating the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS).

How will eligibility change for Tricare after a divorce?

Tricare will not change for the sponsor or his or her children and adopted children. However, the nonmilitary spouse who is divorced will no longer be eligible for Tricare as of the day of the divorce, unless he or she meets some special requirements. If he or she receives care when he or she is no longer eligible, then the sponsor can recoup these overpayments.

When will my children stop being eligible for Tricare?

Children of a military person will remain eligible for Tricare until they age out. This can happen at the age of 21, or at the age of 23 if they go to college. They will also be eligible to enroll for Tricare Young Adult up until the age of 26. However, stepchildren who were not adopted will lose eligibility on the day that the divorce becomes final.

Understanding the implications that divorce has on Tricare is difficult. If you are a Tricare recipient going through a divorce, you should make sure to conduct thorough research to understand what you are entitled to.

Source: Tricare, "Getting Divorced," accessed Feb. 01, 2018

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