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Becoming Medicare-Eligible

Medicare is a health insurance program for people:

  • Age 65 or older
  • Under age 65 with certain disabilities
  • With end stage renal disease
  • With Lou Gehrig's disease
  • Mesothelioma

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services manages Medicare:

  • Medicare Part A is hospital insurance that doesn’t charge premiums. 
  • Medicare Part B is medical insurance that charges premiums.
  • You must pay Medicare Part B premiums to keep Medicare Part B coverage.

>>Get Started with Medicare

Using Medicare and TRICARE Together

If you have Medicare Part A, you must also have Medicare Part B to remain eligible for TRICARE. The only exceptions are if you have: 

  • A sponsor on active duty
  • The US Family Health Plan
  • TRICARE Reserve Select
  • TRICARE Retired Reserve

If you fall into one of these categories, we don’t require you to have Medicare Part B to be eligible for TRICARE. But, we strongly encourage you to get Medicare Part B as soon as you become eligible for Medicare Part A to avoid losing TRICARE coverage in the future. >>Learn More


When you have Medicare Parts A and B, you can use TRICARE For Life.

  • Medicare is your primary insurance.
  • TRICARE is the second payer, so your out-of-pocket expenses are less.
  • TRICARE benefits include covering Medicare's coinsurance and deductible.

US Family Health Plan

You can stay enrolled in the US Family Health Plan when you become eligible for Medicare at age 65 if:

  • You already have it,
  • Your coverage began before September 2012, and
  • There isn’t a break in coverage.

Beginning October 1, 2012, you can no longer enroll in the US Family Health Plan when you become eligible for Medicare at age 65. >>Learn More

What about my family members?

If you’re turning 65, but you still have family members under age 65, they can continue to use TRICARE Prime, TRICARE Standard and Extra, or whatever plan they're using now until they also become eligible for Medicare Part A & B.

Last Updated 7/20/2015