I will be retired from my civilian job, and I will start collecting my reserve retirement pay at 60 and be eligible for Medicare at some point. My wife is seven years younger and will not be eligible for Medicare. I understand I get TRICARE for Life to supplement my Part-B Medicare, but I am confused on how I cover my wife's insurance requirements until she is eligible for Medicare. Will I need to and can I continue some kind of TRICARE policy on her? Or do I have to get a civilian policy for her? I am only aware of gray-area reserve TRICARE policies available as a family which stops at Medicare age. Thanks.


When you hit 60 and start collecting your reserve retirement and become eligible for TRICARE your wife will also be covered by TRICARE, despite being only 53. Later on, when you become eligible for Medicare, you’ll have to sign up for Parts A & B and at that point in time you will begin to use Tricare for Life. However, your wife will continue to utilize TRICARE Prime or Standard until such time as she becomes eligible for Medicare. At that point, she too will switch to TRICARE for Life. It should be fairly straight-forward. Just make sure all your family information in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System is up to date and accurate.