As the spouse of a service member, you have always used Tricare military health benefits. But now that your marriage is ending, what are your options for health coverage? Are you eligible for any divorce benefits?
Tricare eligibility requirements for former military spouses
Some former military spouses are eligible for continuing benefits. However, the criteria are tough to pass. You will qualify for military health benefits after your divorce if you meet the requirement known as the “20/20/20 rule.” This rule requires that your spouse served in the military for 20 years and you were married for 20 of those years while the 20 years of service took place. The good news is, if you meet this requirement, you will be set to receive what is often considered the gold standard of health insurance until you choose to remarry.
If you don’t quite meet requirements but are close, you may qualify for transitional benefits. Say, you meet two of the 20-year requirements but are short on the last. In this case, you would retain benefits for a one-year transition period to give you adequate time to find coverage and organize funds.
Unfortunately, if you don’t meet any of the requirements, there are simply no military health benefits for former military spouses. Your children will remain covered, but you will need to find an alternative option. Your benefits will end the day your divorce is finalized.
As most former spouses won’t qualify for health benefits, make sure to speak to a divorce attorney with knowledge of military matters who can help you plan for this extra expense in your future.