Atkinson & Kelsey, P.A.
Local:505-796-6238 Toll-Free:888-350-5903
Map & Directions Menu

Retaining TRICARE eligibility after a military divorce

A military divorce presents certain unique issues that those in the process of getting a civilian divorce do not face. For example, in a civilian divorce in New Mexico it is expected that once the divorce is final and the marriage is dissolved, an ex-spouse will not be covered his or her ex's health care insurance. However, there are two circumstances in a military divorce in which the non-service member spouse can remain eligible for TRICARE, albeit on his or her own name and Social Security number.

The first circumstance is known as the "20-20-20" rule. Under the 20-20-20 rule, a non-service member spouse may remain eligible for TRICARE after a divorce if: the service member spouse had a minimum of 20 years worth of creditable service towards determining how much he or she would receive in retirement; the couple's marriage lasted at least two decades; and all 20 years of marriage coincide with the 20 years of creditable service going towards the service member's retirement.

The second circumstance is known as the "20-20-15" rule. Under the 20-20-15 rule, a non-service member spouse may remain eligible for TRICARE after a divorce if: the service member spouse had a minimum of 20 years worth of creditable service towards determining how much he or she would receive in retirement; the couple's marriage lasted at least two decades; and 15 of their years of marriage coincided with the 20 years of creditable service going towards the service member's retirement. Under the 20-20-15 rule, the length of a non-military spouse's TRICARE coverage is dependent on the date the couple divorced. For example, if the couple divorced on or after September 29, 1988, and the non-service member spouse satisfies the requirements of the 20-20-15 rule, he or she will be eligible to receive TRICARE for 12 months from the date of divorce.

These rules can be complicated to understand, and this post cannot guarantee any specific result when it comes to receiving TRICARE benefits after a military divorce. Therefore, those seeking a military divorce who have questions regarding TRICARE eligibility may be well-served to consult with an attorney before proceeding.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information