Q. I am 64. My husband will be 64 in October. We currently use Tricare Standard for our primary insurance and a Tricare/CHAMPVA supplemental insurance policy as secondary payer. After collecting Social Security disability for 24 months, I will be eligible for Medicare in October. Then Medicare becomes my primary and Tricare, or Tricare For Life, becomes my secondary insurer. Is it necessary to obtain a third plan, or will these two be sufficient?
A. Deciding whether to maintain supplemental insurance for Medicare is a personal choice, and you should carefully weigh your health insurance needs to determine whether it is necessary. Many retirees have told Military Times they are happy with Medicare as their primary payer with Tricare For Life as the secondary and don't need additional insurance. You could consider contacting your State Health Insurance Assistance Program, which offers free counseling on health insurance needs and plans, before making a decision. If you decide to purchase supplemental insurance, Medicare would be the primary payer, the supplement would pay second and Tricare would pay third.
Q. My unmarried child is four months' pregnant. She is my dependent, and I am retired from the Army. Under what provisions would her child be eligible to get Tricare?
A. Your daughter's pregnancy-related medical care and the baby's birth are covered under Tricare if your daughter is under age 21, or under age 23 and enrolled full-time in college. But hospitalization and treatment-related costs for the newborn, post-delivery, would not be covered since your grandchild is not eligible for Tricare. The only way for a military sponsor to ensure that the infant is covered is for the sponsor to legally adopt him or her.
Write to Tricare Help, Times News Service, 6883 Commercial Drive, Springfield, VA 22159; or firstname.lastname@example.org. In email, include the word "Tricare" in the subject line and please do not attach files.
Patricia Kime is a senior writer covering military and veterans health care, medicine and personnel issues.