Can I keep my military ex-spouse’s healthcare benefits following our divorce?

On Behalf of | Jul 21, 2021 | Military Divorce

Being a military spouse comes with certain sacrifices. But being married to a servicemember also comes with some valuable government benefits. If divorce is on the table, you may have justified fears about how your marriage dissolution may affect your access to those benefits.

One such benefit that often goes undervalued is access to healthcare coverage through TRICARE. Given the high cost of health insurance, you may worry about how you will be able to afford necessary services on your own. Not to worry – the 20/20/20 Rule may cover you.

Meeting the 20/20/20 Rule criteria

According to TRICARE, you remain eligible for coverage if your individual case meets the following criteria:

  • Your marriage to your servicemember spouse lasted at least 20 years.
  • Your servicemember spouse accumulated at least 20 years of creditable service.
  • Your marriage overlapped your spouse’s creditable service for at least 20 years.

If you meet these criteria, you maintain your TRICARE coverage until you either remarry or secure insurance benefits on your own.

If you do not meet all three of the aforementioned criteria, but your marriage overlapped at least 15 years of your servicemember spouse’s creditable service (and you meet the first two criteria), then you can maintain your TRICARE eligibility for one year following the conclusion of your divorce proceedings.

Continuing TRICARE coverage for your kids

You do not need to worry about your kids remaining eligible for TRICARE. Provided they are also the children of your servicemember spouse, your spouse must maintain coverage for them until they reach the age of majority.

Divorce is never easy. But when the divorce involves a military spouse, there are often many other complicating factors and unique stressors to account for. Having an advocate in your court who’s experienced in military divorce can make all the difference.