Are there Medicare benefits for military retirees and their dependents?

A Answers (2)

  • AMichael Roizen, MD, Internal Medicine, answered

    The Department of Defense's TRICARE for Life (TFL) plan provides medical coverage for Medicare-eligible armed services retirees (and even active duty military) and their dependents. You are eligible for TRICARE if you are over 65 and have Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) and Part B (medical insurance).

    TRICARE typically covers most of the costs not covered by Medicare. When you use a Medicare provider, Medicare pays for covered services and TRICARE pays Medicare co-payments (your share of medical costs) and deductibles (the amount you pay before Medicare kicks in).

    If you have TRICARE, you won’t need a Medicare prescription drug plan. If you already have one, you can coordinate drug coverage between TRICARE and your drug plan or a Medicare Advantage plan.

    For more information, call TRICARE Pharmacy Program at 1-877-363-1303 or online at

  • AUnitedHealthcare answered
    Medicare provides benefits for military retirees, too. The Department of Defense’s TRICARE for Life (TFL) plan provides expanded medical coverage for Medicare-eligible uniformed services retirees, including retired National Guard members and reservists. It also covers Medicare-eligible family members and widows/widowers and certain former spouses if they were eligible for TRICARE before age 65. You are eligible for TRICARE is you are over and have Medicare Part A and Part B. If you are eligible, you benefit from receiving a combination of benefits: all Medicare-covered benefits under the Original Medicare Plan plus all TFL-covered benefits. If you use a Medicare provider, your first payer will be Medicare for its covered services, and TFL will then pay Medicare co-payments and deductibles and cover most of the costs of care not covered by Medicare. If you receive care that only Medicare covers, you will need to pay the balance of costs after Medicaid pays its portion to the Medicare provider.  If you're using TRICARE only, then you must pay copayments and deductibles. 
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