Q. My husband is retired from the Navy. After 26 years of marriage, he now wants to divorce me. We were married for 16 of the years he was on active duty. Will I lose my Tricare eligibility when we divorce? I have lots of medical problems, and I don't know what I would do without medical coverage.
A. For a former spouse to retain Tricare eligibility following divorce, the marriage must have endured for a period of at least 20 years during which the uniformed service sponsor was on active duty.
From the information in your letter, I believe you will lose your Tricare eligibility on the day your divorce is final.
Please confirm the above and get official information regarding your personal situation by calling the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System at 1-800-538-9552. DEERS is a federal agency under the auspices of the Defense Department.
A commercial health insurance policy is available that provides coverage similar to that of Tricare Standard for short-term periods. It is called the Continued Health Care Benefit Program. Learn about it at http://www.tricare.mil/chcbp">www.tricare.mil/chcbp.
I regret that I cannot give you better news.
Q. A BlueCross BlueShield subscriber has a daughter who is under 26 and married to a sailor who has military coverage. Is the daughter eligible to have both coverages? If so, who is primary?
A. If the daughter is legally married to a man who is on active duty with one of the uniformed services, she is automatically eligible for Tricare.
For her to use Tricare, however, the husband — her military sponsor — must contact his personnel office to arrange for her to be registered in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System, better known as DEERS, and to be issued a uniformed service ID card.
Whether she can retain her coverage under the father's BlueCross BlueShield plan is dependent on that plan's eligibility rules.
Tricare is not involved with that matter in any way.
For official information about the application of federal law to Tricare eligibility, call DEERS at 800-538-9552.
Write to Tricare Help, Times News Service, 6883 Commercial Drive, Springfield, VA 22159; or firstname.lastname@example.org. In email, include the word "Tricare" in the subject line and do not attach files. Get Tricare advice anytime at www.militarytimes.com/tricarehelp.