TRICARE Covers You, Even When You’re Separating from the Service

8/12/2019

Separating from active duty can be a busy time. And easing back into civilian life may require a transitional health plan. Leaving active duty is a TRICARE Qualifying Life Event (QLE). During this time, you have 90 days from your separation date to change to another health plan if you’re eligible.

Depending on the reason for your separation, you may be able to get other health coverage that’s associated with TRICARE. You and your family members may qualify for one of two transitional health care options. These options are the Transitional Assistance Management Program (TAMP) and Continued Health Care Benefit Program (CHCBP). If you aren’t eligible for TAMP coverage and don’t purchase CHCBP coverage, your active duty medical benefits end on your last day of active duty. The same is true for your family members. And if you’re getting ongoing treatment, your coverage will still end.

Transitional Assistance Management Program

The TRICARE Plans Overview states that TAMP provides 180 days of premium-free health care for certain service members and their families. If you’re eligible, TAMP will begin the day after the sponsor separates from active duty. Your branch of service determines your TAMP eligibility, not the TRICARE regional contractor. With TAMP, you and your family can use TRICARE health plans. You also can get care at military hospitals and clinics.

The health plan choices under TAMP include:

Dental options for you and your family under TAMP are based on the reason of your separation and status.

Be sure to verify your plan enrollment in milConnect before getting care to avoid unexpected out-of-pocket costs. You have 90 days from your date of separation to make plan changes, if needed.

Continued Health Care Benefit Program

CHCBP is a premium-based health plan managed by Humana Military. CHCBP offers health coverage for 18 to 36 months after TRICARE or TAMP coverage ends. The coverage is like TRICARE Select with similar benefits, providers, and program rules. If you qualify, you can purchase CHCBP coverage within 60 days of losing TRICARE or TAMP coverage, whichever is later. Your coverage begins the day after you lose other TRICARE coverage. There are certain former spouses who haven’t remarried before age 55 that may qualify for additional CHCBP coverage.

According to the TRICARE Choices in the United States Handbook, you can’t get care at military hospitals and clinics while you have CHCBP coverage. You also don’t have dental benefits under CHCBP.

Are you transitioning from active duty to the National Guard or Reserve? You may be able to purchase TRICARE Reserve Select (TRS) coverage if you aren’t eligible for TAMP. If you have TRS, you may also be able to purchase CHCBP coverage when you separate from the National Guard or Reserve.

Make your health coverage a priority when you separate from active duty. Visit Separating from Active Duty and learn more about your health care options as you move to civilian life. If you’re retiring, this is a different QLE. Visit Retiring to learn how your TRICARE coverage will change if you retire from active duty.

Last Updated 8/12/2019