Tricare for Retirees

The U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart Retiree Appreciation Day brings together the Stuttgart Military Community and connects them to resources for their benefits and entitlements. The traditional cake-cutting ceremony features the eldest retiree and this year included a family member. Col. Robert Allman, garrison chaplain, assisted them during the Oct. 27, 2022, event. (Spc. Briana Jean-Jaques/Army)

So you're set to retire, but don't know what will happen to your health care. Can you really stand to lose your military health care benefits now that you're leaving and probably have a family to take care of? Fortunately, Tricare offers plenty of options.

It sounds like a complicated process, but we will attempt to explain what your eligibility is to the various Tricare programs available for retirees and their families.

  1. When you retire from active duty, you are eligible to purchase Tricare Prime, Tricare Select, or, in certain areas, the US Family Health Plan. Once you reach age 65, you are no longer eligible for those programs. You can then purchase Medicare and Tricare for Life.
  2. If you retire from the National Guard or reserves, you can purchase Tricare Retired Reserve until age 60. At that time, you get the same options as retired active-duty members. At age 65, you are no longer eligible for those programs. You can then purchase Medicare and Tricare for Life.

Tricare Health Plans

  • Tricare Prime - Retirees and their families can purchase Tricare Prime coverage. Unlike active-duty members, retirees and families have to pay an annual enrollment fee and copays for treatment. See our Tricare Prime Coverage Details for more information.
  • Tricare Select - Retirees and their families can purchase Tricare Select. All retirees have to pay a deductible amount of $150 per individual (no more than $300 per family).
  • US Family Health Plan - Retirees and their families can purchase coverage under the US Family Health Plan. Unlike active-duty members, they have to pay an annual enrollment fee and copays for treatment.
  • Tricare Retired Reserve - Retired Guard or reserve members and their family members can purchase Tricare Retired Reserve until they reach age 60. There is an enrollment fee, with copays for treatment.
  • Tricare for Life -  Retirees age 65 and older may receive Tricare for Life for free if they purchase Medicare Part B coverage. For those living in the U.S., Tricare for Life is a Medicare supplement. Medicare does not provide coverage outside the United States or U.S. territories. Therefore, Tricare for Life is your primary payer for health care received in all other overseas locations.
  • Medicare - Medicare is health insurance for people 65 years of age and older, some people with disabilities under age 65, and people with end-stage renal disease (permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or a transplant).

Retiree Dental

Retirees and their dependents can get dental care using the Office of Personnel Management’s Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP).

FEDVIP is a voluntary, enrollee-pay-all insurance program. It is sponsored by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and offers eligible participants a choice between 10 dental insurance companies.

It is available worldwide. For more information, see our Retiree Dental page.

Pharmacy Benefits

  • Tricare Pharmacy Program - The Tricare Pharmacy Program gives you the option of filling your prescriptions at military treatment facility pharmacies; through the Tricare Pharmacy Home Delivery option; at Tricare retail network pharmacies; and at non-network pharmacies.
  • Tricare Maintenance Medications Program - All persons taking select maintenance medications must receive refills via home delivery or use a military pharmacy instead of using retail pharmacies.

Vision Benefits

  • Vision Benefits - Some Tricare programs offer free or reduced price eye examinations and corrective lenses. Retirees are eligible for vision insurance through FEDVIP.  


Medicare provides health insurance for Americans ages 65 and older who have worked and paid into the system. It also provides health insurance to younger people with disabilities. For more information, see our Medicare page.

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