Divorce can be a complex process; throwing in the aspect of military service makes it even more so. Service members and their spouses enjoy a number of unique benefits. Thus, when a military marriage comes to an end, non-serving spouses typically want to know if access to those benefits may continue for themselves and their children.
One of these main benefits is healthcare coverage through the TRICARE program. On sheer volume alone, this represents one of the most highly utilized military benefits. Indeed, according to information shared by TRICARE, 9.5 million of its subscribers seek medical treatment annually.
TRICARE coverage for ex-spouses
Healthcare costs can be high, as can the cost of insurance coverage. One who has made career sacrifices to accommodate their spouse’s military service may find it difficult to secure a job that offers such benefits immediately following the end of their marriages. However, they can continue to enjoy TRICARE coverage if they meet the requirements of the 20/20/20 Rule.
Per the website MilitaryBenefits.info, the requirements include:
- At least 20 years of marriage to a service member
- That service member accumulating at least 20 years of service creditable towards retirement pay
- The marriage overlapping at least 20 of those years
If one’s marriage met those requirements, they remain eligible for TRICARE coverage until the remarry (or secure their own health insurance coverage. If their marriage only overlapped 15 years of their ex-spouse’s creditable service (yet they meet the other two requirements), they can retain their TRICARE coverage for a year.
Covering the kids
One seeking a divorce from a service member need not worry about their kids remaining eligible for TRICARE coverage. The kids’ coverage remains until they reach the age of majority. They can even extend their eligibility during their college years.