Tricare Help: Can adopted grandchild be covered?
Q. My wife and I are on Tricare for Life. We may have to adopt our 15-year-old granddaughter. If so, can we put her on our Tricare coverage?
A. Absolutely. Any legally adopted child is eligible for Tricare through a family's military sponsor.
Once the adoption is final, you would have to register your granddaughter in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System and get her a dependent ID card by visiting the ID Card/DEERS office on any military installation. General information is available from the main DEERS support office in California toll-free at 800-538-9552.
Once that was done, she could use either Tricare Prime or Tricare Standard. You can learn more about those two programs here.
If you have further questions, contact the managed-care contractor for the Tricare region in which you live.
Q. I retired from the Air Force in 1995 with 20 years of service. My wife and I wed in 2013.I'm not sure I understand the "20/20/20" rule for continued Tricare coverage if I pass away before my spouse. I understand the first two requirements of the rule, but I'm not sure about the last requirement that the time periods of the member's service and the marriage must have overlapped by at least 20 years. Does this apply only in cases of divorce? If my wife and I meet the first two requirements and I pass away before her, will she continue to have Tricare coverage?
A. No worries. The "20/20/20" rule indeed applies only in cases of divorce. Should your spouse outlive you, she'd remain eligible for Tricare for the rest of her life, on one condition — that she didn't remarry. If she did, her Tricare eligibility would end, and it could not be restored later even if her subsequent marriage was to end in death or divorce.
Q. My husband is in reserves and is not enrolled in Tricare. He works for the state of North Carolina and receives health care coverage for just $13 a month. However, adding me to his coverage would shoot our monthly premiums to nearly $400. Tricare seems far more affordable. Could he enroll only me in Tricare, or would he have to enroll as well?
A. Tricare eligibility derives from the service member listed in the Defense Department's database as the "sponsor" for his or her family. The Tricare plan for drilling reservists, Tricare Reserve Select, requires enrollment and payment of monthly premiums — and coverage comes in only two flavors: service member only, or service member and family. Your husband/sponsor cannot sign up only you for TRS. For more details, visit this Tricare page.
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