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Zachary A. Van Dyke, P.A.

Se Habla Español
Call Now For a Low Cost Consultation and Same Day Appointments
850-641-8504

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How will a military divorce affect TRICARE?

On Behalf of | Dec 31, 2020 | Family Law

Thousands of Americans struggle because they cannot afford healthcare coverage. If you are married to someone in the military, you do not have this problem. You have free access to TRICARE. However, if you are considering a divorce, you need to know that ending your marriage could cost your healthcare entitlement.

The law sets out how divorce will affect your healthcare

To understand if you will retain your TRICARE after divorce, you must refer to The Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act (USFSPA). It sets out two different circumstances in which you can keep your healthcare. If you do not meet either of these, your rights to TRICARE will be taken away at a minute after midnight on the day that you divorce. 

The 20-20-20 rule gives you lifetime entitlement to TRICARE

  • Your spouse served for 20 years that count toward retirement
  • You were married to each other for 20 years
  • All 20 years of their service coincide with your marriage

The 20-20-15 rule gives you one year of entitlement to TRICARE

  • Your spouse served for 20 years that count toward retirement
  • You were married to each other for 20 years
  • Only 15 years of their service coincide with your marriage

You could still lose your TRICARE entitlement despite these rules

If you remarry or get insurance from an employer, you will no longer be entitled to TRICARE coverage provided under the 20-20-20 or 20-20-15 rules.

Seek legal advice if you have other queries about a possible military divorce. While there are many things that you will share in common with civilian couples who divorce, there are some crucial distinctions you need to understand before making your decision.