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Texas military divorce: Can a spouse keep Tricare?

Thursday, June 29, 2017

One of the many concerns that a Texas spouse may have when considering a military divorce is over health insurance. Active duty military members and some other qualified former service members are entitled to receive Tricare. However, if a spouse pursues a military divorce, are they still entitled to keep receiving the health care benefits?

The truth is that it depends. Tricare has very specific conditions to continue receiving benefits with them. In the event of a divorce, the military member must have been in the service for a minimum of 20 years. The marriage and the service time must also have overlapped for the same length of time. If these conditions are not met, the spouse who is not a military member will lose their benefits.

When a service member has been discharged from the service with a permanent disability before their 20 years are up, they typically remain entitled to continue receiving Tricare. However, a former spouse must still meet all the other requirements before they could be eligible to keep their health insurance through the service member. In addition, if all of the conditions are met but the non-military spouse elects to remarry, Tricare will be lost permanently and cannot be restored even in the event of the new spouse's death.

It is important to remember that these rules only apply to ex-spouses; dependents have different rules under Tricare. While health care is an important consideration in a military divorce, Tricare has very specific conditions which many Texas residents may not be able to fulfill. If questions arise on health insurance or other benefits when going through a military divorce, it may help to seek out knowledgeable assistance to ensure that a fair and equitable settlement occurs for both parties.

Source: Military Times, "Tricare Help - Can I keep Tricare if I divorce husband?" My, Oct 12, 2012

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