Carlsbad Family Law Attorneys
Does TRICARE coverage continue after divorcing a servicemember?
Compassionate in Our Approach, Decisive in Our Strategy
Our attorneys having a discussion in the conference room

Does TRICARE coverage continue after divorcing a servicemember?

On Behalf of | Apr 21, 2024 | Divorce

If you’ve been married to a servicemember for some time, you’ve probably been taking your health insurance coverage for granted because you’ve had TRICARE. If you’re going to be divorcing (and you’re not also an active duty or retired servicemember), it’s important to determine whether you can continue to receive coverage under TRICARE post-divorce.

Your continued coverage depends on the length of your marriage, the length of your spouse’s service and the length of the overlap between the two.

The 20/20/20 rule 

If all three of the things mentioned above are 20 years or more, you can continue to receive TRICARE coverage under your own plan. That coverage can continue until you remarry (if you do) or choose to get other coverage.

The 20/20/15 rule 

Say that you and your spouse have been married for 20 years and their service has lasted 20 years, but they joined the military four years before you married. In that case, you’d qualify for continued TRICARE coverage for just one year since the overlap of your marriage and your spouse’s service was under 20 years but more than 15 years.

If you don’t qualify for continued TRICARE coverage following divorce under either of these rules, you don’t have to immediately look for new insurance. The Continued Health Care Benefit Program (CHCBP) lets ex-spouses get continued coverage for three years. It’s probably wise to look at other options through Covered California or your employer to see how prices and coverage compare.

Note that if you have children, your spouse can continue to cover them under their TRICARE plan. Currently, children can be covered under their parent’s TRICARE plan until they turn 21 or, if they’re in college at 21, until they turn 23.

Why it’s important to know how much you’ll be paying for insurance after divorce

Health insurance may not be your primary focus as you divorce, particularly if you’re healthy. However, you don’t want to neglect to take the necessary steps to stay covered, since coverage under a spouse’s plan ends with the finalization of a divorce.

Further, you’ll want to work out an estimated post-divorce budget so that you can determine whether you need to seek spousal support and, if so, how much. Part of the budget will include health insurance premiums, deductibles and out-of-pocket medical expenses. That will depend on your insurance plan. With experienced legal guidance, you’ll have less chance of important considerations like heath insurance falling through the cracks as you move forward.