You being the spouse of a service member in Federal Way grants you access to several exclusive benefits (chief among them being healthcare coverage through TRICARE, the military’s health insurance program). If you choose to divorce, your dependence on the benefits you receive due to your now-former spouse’s service could leave you facing a very uncertain future. Many have come to us here at the Clement Law Center questioning how they may be able to replace their TRICARE coverage. If you share the same concern, you will be happy to know that you may continue to be covered even after your divorce.
Yet first things first: you do not need to be concerned about coverage for your children. Your spouse is required to maintain coverage on them until they reach the age of majority. According to TRICARE’s website, you also remain eligible for coverage depending on your former spouse’s service. If they have accumulated 20 years of creditable service towards earning military retirement pay, then you may qualify. To retain coverage, however, you must have been married for at least 20 years, and 20 of those years must have overlapped your ex-spouse’s creditable service.
Provided you meet the requirements of “the 20-20-20 rule,” you can remain eligible for TRICARE (as your own plan sponsor). Your coverage would end if you remarry or secure coverage on your own. If your marriage did not overlap your spouse’s creditable years of service by 20 years, you can still be covered after your divorce if you were married for at least 15 of those years. In such a case, your coverage continues for one year from the date of your divorce.
More information on retaining benefits following a military divorce can be found here on our site.