Tricare offers superb health insurance to military retirees and their beneficiaries. Tricare is separate from Medicare, which everyone receives at age 65. When military retirees turn 65, they can use both Tricare and Medicare to have some of the best coverage at the lowest price offered to anyone in the country.
In this guide we will go over how to have both Tricare and Medicare, and how to get the most amount of benefits for you and your family.
If you want to sign up for Medicare Advantage give us a call or fill out our contact form and we will be in touch.
Table Of Contents
- Medicare And TRICARE
- Medicare Part D
- Medicare Advantage And TRICARE
- What Happens To Family’s Coverage?
- Who Pays First?
- Do I Have To Pay For Medicare Part B?
- Is TRICARE For Life Free?
Can You Combine Medicare With TRICARE?
Qualified military retirees receive Tricare for Life as their health insurance. So what happens when they turn 65?
When you turn 65 you must enroll in both Medicare Parts A (Hospital) and Part B (Doctors) to stay eligible for Tricare and get Tricare for Life. Generally speaking, Part A is free from your years of working and paying taxes, but Part B comes with a premium. Everyone must pay the Part B premium no matter what plan you are in or who you are.
Once enrolled, Medicare will be your primary insurance, with Tricare as a secondary. All Tricare beneficiaries must enroll in Medicare once they turn 65, or they will lose their Tricare as well. You do not have a choice.
The result is that Medicare will take care of the bulk of your healthcare expenses, and Tricare will act as a Medicare supplement, taking care of the rest if Medicare does not cover it. This combination is some of the best health insurance coverage anyone can get for very little out of pocket.
Medicare Part D
Medicare Part D is the prescription drug coverage potion of Medicare. It is not required to sign up for. In fact, Tricare already offers prescription drug coverage for most types of drugs. You can buy Medicare Part D at a very low cost if you want more coverage, but it is not necessary, especially if you don’t have any expensive prescriptions you are taking.
TRICARE And Medicare Advantage
Many Medicare beneficiaries that have Tricare are interested in Medicare Advantage once turning 65 because of the additional benefits of Medicare Advantage such as Silver Sneakers, dental, hearing, and vision coverage. Most Medicare Advantage plans come with a $0/month premium, but you can only see doctors in the plans network.
Medicare Advantage operates very similar to original Medicare in that it will cover most, but not all health care costs. People who don’t have Tricare will have co-pays, deductibles, and coinsurance to pay. However, Tricare beneficiaries can enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan and have Tricare pick up the additional costs, giving them a significant advantage.
We recommend many Tricare beneficiaries to enroll in Medicare Advantage if their doctor is in network with a plan. The only downside to Medicare Advantage for Tricare beneficiaries is that they can only see doctors in network.
If you are interested in enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan give us a call or fill out our contact form and we will be in touch.
What Happens To My Family’s TRICARE Coverage When I Turn 65?
Nothing. Your family’s coverage will remain in place when you turn 65. The only requirement when you turn 65 is to enroll in Medicare Part A and B for yourself. Your family doesn’t need to do anything and they keep the same coverage.
TRICARE And Medicare Advantage Who Pays First?
Once you enroll in Medicare, whether that is an Advantage plan or original Medicare, Medicare will pay its portion first, and Tricare will pay the rest of anything that is left over. This is because Medicare is your primary and Tricare is your secondary.
Do I Have To Pay For Medicare Part B If I Have TRICARE?
Yes. Everyone who turns 65 must enroll in Medicare Part A & B to keep Tricare. While Part A is free for most people, Part B has a premium starting at $170/month in 2022, up from $148/month in 2021. You must pay this Part B premium no matter what plan you are in. Everyone pays this.
Is TRICARE For Life Free For Military Retirees?
There is no monthly premium or enrollment cost to be in Tricare for Life. However, you still must pay your Medicare Part B premium no matter what. This makes it so military retirees over 65 have superb coverage with little monthly cost.
If you have any additional questions or want to work with a Medicare broker for free then give us a call or fill out our quote form and we will discuss all of your options and best way forward.