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Children Becoming Adults

Biological and adopted children can get TRICARE until their 21st birthday in most cases. There are some exceptions to the age limit.

At age 21, your child may qualify for TRICARE Young Adult if they:

  • Are age 21-26
  • Remain unmarried
  • Are adult dependent children

There are premiums for TRICARE Young Adult. If your child doesn't qualify to purchase TRICARE Young Adult, they can purchase the Continued Health Care Benefit Program.

Learn more:

Age Limit Exceptions

There are some exceptions to the age limit.

Full-Time Student

Your child can get TRICARE until their 23rd birthday or graduation (whichever is first) if enrolled full time at an approved college. The sponsor must provide at least 50% of the child's financial support while in college.

  • Health plans and how your child gets care depend on the sponsor's military status and where they go to college
  • Contact an ID card office to see what documents you need to extend benefits for your child beyond their 21st birthday
  • After turning 23 or graduating, they may qualify to purchase TRICARE Young Adult
  • If your child doesn’t purchase TRICARE Young Adult, he or she can purchase the Continued Health Care Benefit Program

Marriage

If your child gets married, then they can’t get TRICARE as your dependent. But they may qualify to purchase the Continued Health Care Benefit Program.

Disability

If your child is severely disabled or incapacitated, they can get TRICARE beyond the normal age limits (21 or 23 as described above).

Last Updated 8/7/2014