Regular Army: Retired

Benefit Fact Sheet


TRICARE for Life (TFL) is TRICARE's Medicare-wraparound coverage available worldwide to TRICARE beneficiaries who are also entitled to Medicare. Essentially, TFL acts as a supplement to Medicare Part A and B, there are no special enrollment procedures or TRICARE premium payments. You must pay Medicare Part B monthly premiums. Your Part B premium is based on your income . Medicare Part B information.

Beginning in January 2019, DFAS will provide IRS Form 1095-C to all U.S. military members, and IRS Form 1095-B to all Retirees, Annuitants, former Spouses and all other individuals having TRICARE coverage during all or any portion of tax year 2018. An IRS Form 1095 documents you (and your Family members, if applicable) have the minimum essential coverage. These forms will document the information that DFAS will provide to the IRS on yourself and your authorized Family members. The forms will be required to be reported with your 2018 federal tax return. DFAS will provide you with IRS Form 1095 series forms no later than 31 January 2019.


Retired Soldiers who are Medicare eligible and are in receipt of retired pay are eligible for TRICARE for Life. Their dependent Family Members, Surviving Spouses and certain former Spouses are also eligible.

Dependent parents and parents-in-law are not eligible for TFL. When TRICARE beneficiaries become entitled to Medicare Part A and B (1) on the basis of age (65), (2) disability, or (3) end-stage renal disease, they are eligible for TFL. Note: In order to be covered under TFL, beneficiaries must be enrolled in Medicare Part B and have a current military ID card.

Beneficiaries entitled to Medicare Part A who decline Medicare Part B coverage will lose TRICARE eligibility.

The key to TRICARE eligibility depends on enrollment in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS), which will indicate the dates of eligibility. All uniformed services sponsors (active, reserve or retired) should ensure that their family status (marriage, death, divorce, new Child, etc.) and residential address are current in DEERS at all times.

TRICARE Benefits change frequently so be sure to reference the TRICARE site at  


Benefit Highlights

How TFL Works with Medicare and Other Health Insurance (OHI):

Beneficiaries with OHI, such as a Medicare supplement or an employer-sponsored health plan, may use TFL as long as you're eligible for Medicare Part A and have Medicare Part B coverage. By law, TRICARE pays claims only after all OHIs have paid. Typically, after Medicare processes a claim-either approving or denying it-the claim is automatically forwarded to the beneficiary's OHI, (unless your OHI is an employer based plan with fewer than 20 employees, in which case Medicare pays first, the employer plan second, and TFL last). Once the OHI processes the claim, the beneficiary needs to file a paper claim with TRICARE for any out-of-pocket expenses. TRICARE may reimburse the beneficiary if the services provided are covered by TRICARE. Exact copayments for inpatient and outpatient services can be found on TRICARE's cost matrix .

NOTE: Retirees eligible for TFL will face higher outpatient costs at VA hospitals and clinics for non-service-connected care as Medicare will not pay for services at VA facilities.

TRICARE for Life Out-of-Pocket Costs

Type of Service

Medicare Pays


You Pay

Covered by TRICARE and Medicare

Medicare-authorized amount

TRICARE-allowable amount


Covered by Medicare only

Medicare-authorized amount


Medicare deductible and cost-share

Covered by TRICARE only


TRICARE-allowable amount

TRICARE deductible and cost-share

Not covered by TRICARE or Medicare



Billed charges ( which may exceed the Medicare- or TRICARE allowable amount )

Additional Information

For more information, please visit the TRICARE for Life webpage maintained by the TRICARE Management Activity:

TRICARE DEERS Information:

TRICARE for Life Handbook:

Medicare Part B information:

Document Review Date: 01 August 2018