Retiring | TRICARE

Retiring

When you retire from active duty, you and your family have a change in status.

When You Retire

  • Your plan options change.
  • You must enroll in either TRICARE Prime or TRICARE Select by the effective date of retirement to be eligible for continuous health care coverage.
  • You and your family members need to get new ID cards.

Before You Retire

Remember to schedule your Separation History and Physical Examination (SHPE) between 90 and 180 days before you retire or start terminal leave. The Department of Defense (DoD) and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) uses the SHPE as a single separation examination to capture your complete medical history. >>Learn More about SHPE

After You Retire

Here's a quick look at how TRICARE changes when you retire. 

Health Plan Enrollment

When you retire, the status change will disenroll you from TRICARE Prime.

  • You must enroll in a TRICARE plan within 90 days of your retirement. You may have to pay annual enrollment fees.
  • You can re-enroll online, on the phone, or through the mail. >>Learn More
  • If you fail to enroll in TRICARE Prime or TRICARE Select, you will lose all TRICARE coverage and only be eligible for space available coverage in a military hospital or clinic.

Health Plan Options

You and your family may enroll in one of these health plans:

Covered Services

Some services are no longer covered when you retire. These include:

  • Hearing aids
  • TRICARE Extended Care Health Option services for family members
  • Chiropractic care
  • Eye exams for all plans except TRICARE Prime

For information on dental care, visit TRICARE Retiree Dental Program.

Costs

While on active duty, you paid nothing out-of-pocket and your family's costs were minimal. As a retiree, you may see an increase in costs. Depending on your TRICARE plan, your new costs may include:

In the calendar year you retire, any amounts accrued on active duty apply to your retired family cap.

Family Members Eligible for Medicare

Family members who are eligible for Medicare must have Medicare Part B coverage to stay eligible for TRICARE when you retire. If you had Medicare while on active duty, you remain eligible when you retire.

Don't Lose Your TRICARE Benefits!

If you become eligible for Medicare under age 65 for a disability or any other reason, you must have Medicare Part B to keep TRICARE. >>Learn more about Medicare and TRICARE

Moving after you retire?

If you move after you retire, be sure to update your address in DEERS.

Last Updated 6/11/2018