TRICARE and military divorce

On Behalf of | Feb 18, 2023 | Family Law

If you’re divorcing a military spouse who’s either active or retired, you need to know as a civilian what military benefits you will lose and which you can keep. Your TRICARE health insurance coverage should be one of your priorities – particularly if you don’t have access to insurance through your own employer.

Continued eligibility for TRICARE coverage is based on the length of your marriage and your spouse’s service. There are two specific rules you should know about:

  • The 20/20/20 rule: This applies if you were married for at least 20 years, your spouse has served for at least 20 consecutive years and your marriage and their service overlap by at least that long.
  • The 20/20/15 rule: This applies if the first two conditions apply but your marriage and your spouse’s military service overlapped by less than 20 but at least 15 years.

If you qualify under one of these rules, you can continue on TRICARE unless or until you remarry or obtain other insurance. Note that these rules apply only to non-military spouses – not to children. Children can remain on a military parent’s TRICARE coverage until they age out.

Determining your health insurance options is an important part of your divorce

It’s crucial to determine whether you meet the requirements to continue receiving TRICARE coverage after your divorce is final and, if so, take the necessary steps so that the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) has your current information. If you don’t qualify and don’t have access to an employer-sponsored plan, you can obtain insurance under one of the plans available to Texans under the Affordable Care Act.

This is just one of the many things you’ll need to consider as you divorce a member of the military. Having experienced legal guidance can be of great value.