Separating from Active Duty

You and your family may qualify for transitional health care benefits and/or Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits once you separate from active duty.

Transitional Health Care Benefits

Transitional Assistance Management Program (TAMP)

Provides 180 days of transitional health care benefits to certain service members and their families. For those who qualify, the 180-day TAMP period begins upon the sponsor's separation. >>Learn More

Continued Health Care Benefit Program (CHCBP)

A premium-based health care program that offers temporary transitional health coverage (18-36 months) after TRICARE eligibility ends. If you qualify, you can purchase CHCBP within 60 days of loss of eligibility for either regular TRICARE or TAMP coverage. >>Learn More

VA Benefits

To be eligible for VA benefits, you must serve on active duty in regular components of the military and receive an honorable discharge or release from service. National Guard and Reserve members called to active duty by federal executive Order may also qualify for VA benefits. 

If you serve on active duty in a theater of combat operations after November 11, 1998, you are eligible for two years of cost-free health care for conditions potentially related to your combat service. These services begin on the date of separation from active duty service. At the end of that two-year period, VA will reassess your eligibility status. Some family members may be eligible for health benefits from the VA.

To apply for VA health benefits:

  • Visit any VA Medical Center and complete the Application for Health Benefits VA Form 10-10EZ
  • Visit and apply electronically
  • Call VA's Health Benefits Service Center toll-free at 1-877-222-VETS (8387)

Visit for more information.

Keeping Minimum Essential Coverage

While covered by TRICARE, you have minimum essential coverage required under the Affordable Care Act. When you lose TRICARE, you'll be losing that minimum essential coverage and you'll need to make some decisions about your health care.

  • If you are covered by TAMP, you have minimum essential coverage for 180 days after TRICARE ends.
  • If you purchase the CHCBP, you will have minimum coverage for 18-38 months after TRICARE or TAMP ends.
  • If you qualify for VA benefits, you might have minimum essential coverage. Check with the VA for details.
  • If you have employer-sponsored health insurance when you separate, you'll have minimum essential coverage.
  • If you don't have TAMP, the CHCBP, VA or other insurance after these benefits end, search the Health Insurance Marketplace to find civilain health coverage that fits your budget and meets your needs. 

Last Updated 5/12/2014