Tricare rules and a Texas military divorce
When a Texas military spouse goes through a divorce, it can mean the severing of military benefits, specifically Tricare. Tricare has very specific rules attached to it and can sometimes cause confusion when a couple is divorcing. Paying attention to those rules before a divorce can help someone retain much needed medical coverage.
One military spouse divorced her husband after 21 years. After the divorce, she was entitled to receive full Tricare benefits. The woman remarried another member of the military, but divorced him after seven years. Once the second divorce occurred, the woman permanently lost her Tricare benefits. Now, she has no health coverage and is seeking to have the benefits reinstated to her, using her first marriage as a qualification to get them back.
The woman’s first marriage enabled to her to meet Tricare’s 20/20/20 rule. This means former spouses who met that requirement could have retained her military benefits indefinitely. However, her remarriage terminated her original spouse’s sponsorship, rendering her permanently ineligible. Even if the second marriage ended in death or divorce, she still wouldn’t be able to retain her Tricare eligibility.
Tricare regulations can be extremely confusing even without a Texas divorce. However, when the woman married and eventually divorced the second man, she lost all her rights to Tricare. This could serve as a cautionary tale to other military spouses who may be in the process of a divorce. Paying attention to those rules or seeking knowledgeable advice can help prevent such occurrences.
Source: Military Times, “Tricare Help: Can mom get back Tricare coverage after divorce and remarriage?” Nov. 2, 2012