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Does divorce effect you and your children’s Tricare eligibility?

If you meet and marry a member of the military on San Antonio, you may become eligible to receive military benefits. Your new spouse simply needs to go and add you (plus any children that you may have) to the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System. Once that occurs, you and your dependents may begin to enjoy benefits such as Tricare, the health care program covering military members and their dependents. Through Tricare, you can receive health and even dental insurance for services performed by civilian providers. Yet what happens to that coverage if you get divorced?

According to Tricare’s website, your eligibility for these benefits will end at 12:01 am on the day that you get divorced. There are, however, certain exceptions to this rule. For you to qualify for continuing coverage, your former spouse must have at least 20 years of service credited towards determining military retirement pay. You must also have been married to him or her for at least 20 years. Finally, 15-20 years of your marriage must have overlapped his or her years of creditable service.  

Any children that you and your former spouse had together, as well as any children that you may have adopted, will continue to be eligible for Tricare benefits until they reach the age of 21. Their rights to coverage continue even if your former spouse dies while on active duty. After turning 21, they can choose to enroll in Tricare Young Adult program and continue to be covered up until they turn 26.

Any children that you brought into the marriage will also lose their Tricare coverage once your former spouse updates the DEERS system with your divorce decree. The only exception would be if he or she legally adopted the children while you were married. 

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