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Children Becoming Adults

Biological and adopted children are eligible for TRICARE until their 21st birthday in most cases.

See below for some "Age Limit Exceptions."

At age 21, your child may qualify to purchase TRICARE Young Adult, a premium-based health plan for unmarried, adult dependent children, age 21-26. If your child doesn't qualify to purchase TRICARE Young Adult, he or she can purchase the Continued Health Care Benefit Program.

For more information:

Age Limit Exceptions

There are some exceptions to the TRICARE coverage age limit (21st birthday).

Full-Time Student

Your child remains eligible for TRICARE until his or her 23rd birthday or graduation (whichever is first) if enrolled in a full course of study at a approved institution of higher learning and the sponsor continues to provide at least 50% of the child's financial support. 

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

Marriage

If your child gets married, then he or she won't be eligible for TRICARE as your dependent. But, he or she may qualify to purchase the Continued Health Care Benefit Program.

Disability

If your child is severely disabled or incapacitated, he or she may be eligible for TRICARE beyond the normal age limits (21 or 23 as described above).

Last Updated 4/16/2014