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TRICARE for Life

Other names: “TFL”, “Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Uniformed Services (CHAMPUS)”

TRICARE is a health insurance program that is provided by the Department of Defense. Active and retired military members and their family are eligible for TRICARE coverage. There is also an extension of TRICARE, TICARE for Life (TFL) that is designed for veterans that are over the age of 65 and are enrolled in Medicare.

What type of Coverage does TRICARE Provide?

TRICARE is similar to Medigap insurance that covers the “gap” that Medicare does not pay for, reducing out of pocket costs for the insured. TRICARE also provides care for active military as well as veterans. The care offered is provided by military and or civilian healthcare professionals.

What Types of Long-Term Care does TRICARE Pay for?

TRICARE can help pay for skilled nursing services if certain conditions are met. TRICARE, however, does not pay for assisted living care that assist with the activities of daily living. TRICARE can be combined with Medicare in order to cover the cost of skilled nursing.

  • For skilled nursing care for up to 20 days, Medicare will pay 100% of the costs accrued.
  • For care more than 20 days and less than 100 days at a skilled nursing facility, Medicare will pay for 80% of the costs and TRICARE for Life will cover the remaining 20% of expenses.
  • For care longer than 100 days, Medicare will not provide any assistance, but TFL will cover 75%, leaving the insured to pay for the remaining 25% of costs.

Who Qualifies for TRICARE?

Active members or retired veterans that served at least 20 years in the following qualify for TRICARE. In addition, the family of the military member also qualifies including the spouse of a deceased veteran.

  • Army
  • Navy
  • Marine Corps
  • Air Force
  • Coast Guard
  • Public Health Service
  • NOAA

If a veteran was dishonorably discharged, however, he or she will not qualify for TRICARE.

How does TRICARE Help Pay?

Medical providers will directly receive payment assistance through TRICARE. Insured persons will at no time receive any monetary assistance directly.

Does TRICARE Cost the Insured Anything?

There are no costs to be insured by TRICARE. All that are insured, however, do need to be enrolled in Medicare Part B and pay any costs associated with Medicare.

How to Apply for TFL?

The Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) enrolls eligible military members in TFL. Active military members and veterans can register for TFL at the DEERS’ website.

Find Skilled Nursing Care

Call (877) 751-0735 to speak to a local Care Advisor about skilled nursing facilities in your area. If you or your loved one requires assisted living, your Care Advisor can also provide pricing information to help you determine a monthly budget without the help of TRICARE. This is a completely free service for families to use that are looking for senior care.