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Understanding the Continued Health Care Benefit Program

The stresses involved with being in a military marriage in San Antonio can exact quite a toll on the civilian spouse. While the benefits that he or she might enjoy through his or her service member may be beneficial, having to deal with issues such as the potential for deployment may outweigh those advantages. Indeed, information shared by shows that prior to 2001, military divorce rates were only at 2.6 percent. That number climbed to 3.7 percent in 2011, and was still at 3 percent as of 2015. Yet for those civilian spouses who do choose to end their military marriages, the question of how they will deal with the loss of their benefits looms large.

One of the primary benefits enjoyed by military families is health insurance. While any children of a service member will continue to receive insurance coverage until they come of age, former spouses will not. In many cases, finding a job that offers group health plan coverage or provides them with sufficient funds to afford insurance on their own immediately after their divorces may be difficult for such people. There may be, however, the option to continue to be covered under the Continued Health Care Benefit Program.

According to TRICARE, CHCBP participation is available to certain unmarried former spouses of military members for up to 36 months. Those who do not remarry before the age of 55 may petition for unlimited coverage. To qualify, they must have been covered under either TRICARE or the Transitional Assistance Management Program on the day prior to their final decree of divorce. It is important that those seeking this coverage understand that it is not automatic; rather, it must secured within 60 days of losing their TRICARE benefits. 

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