You will be redirected to the page you want to view in  seconds.

Tricare Help: Can retiree still cover guardsman daughter?

Jul. 8, 2013 - 08:44PM   |  

Q. I am a retiree covered by Tricare Prime, and my daughter is 20 years old. She joined the Air National Guard and is a full-time student at her tech school. Once she is no longer on active-duty status for training, can she remain covered for health care under my Prime?

A. Your daughter will not be able to remain in Tricare unless she continues to qualify as your legal dependent. One criterion of that definition is that she is dependent upon you for more than half of her support. Unless her Guard position is her only source of employment and her only income is the drill pay she receives for her weekend duty, I doubt she will still qualify as your dependent.

Moreover, even if she does still qualify as your dependent, she will age out of “ordinary” Tricare when she turns 21, unless she’s a full-time college student at that time.

Assuming your daughter does not qualify as your dependent any longer, her only Tricare option once she leaves tech school and enters drilling status will be Tricare Reserve Select. That program is not free; it requires payment of monthly premiums.

The place to inquire about your daughter’s Tricare eligibility under your sponsorship is the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System, the Defense Department’s eligibility portal for Tricare. You can visit the ID Card/DEERS office on any military installation or call the main support office at 800-538-9552.

Q. I am 16 years old, and I am covered by my dad’s Tricare. I’m going to have a baby. Will my dad’s Tricare cover it? Or will I have to get insurance for her from somewhere else?

A. Tricare will cover your maternity care and any services related to the birth of your baby, but Tricare will not cover any care or services for the baby after she is born.

Tricare eligibility does not normally extend to grandchildren of service members. Tricare officials have said in the past that the only way that can happen is if the military sponsor/grandparent legally adopts the grandchild. However, some military family advocates argue that the Tricare operating regulations are vague on this point, and that a grandchild can be covered by Tricare if the military sponsor/grandparent assumes legal guardianship of the grandchild.

Tricare doesn’t make these kinds of eligibility determinations; only the military services may do that, through DEERS. Your father should contact DEERS at 800-538-9552 for more information and further guidance.

Write to Tricare Help, Times News Service, 6883 Commercial Drive, Springfield, VA 22159; or tricarehelp@military In email, include the word “Tricare” in the subject line and do not attach files. Get Tricare advice any time at

Answers by RallyPoint

Join trending discussions in the military's #1 professional community. See what members like yourself have to say from across the DoD.

More In Pay & Benefits

Start your day with a roundup of top defense news.

VA Home Loan

Search By:

Product Options:
Zip Code:

News for your in-box

Sign up now for free Military Times E-Reports. Choose from Money and Education. Subscribers: log in for premium e-newsletters.

This Week's Army Times

This Week's Army Times

CrossFit vs. unit PT
Troops will do the training plans in a $2.5 million study

Subscribe for Print or Digital delivery today!

MilitaryTimes Green Trusted Classifieds Looking to buy, sell and connect on Military Times?
Browse expanded listings across hundreds of military installations.
Faces of valorHonoring those who fought and died in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
hall of valorThe Hall of Valor is a searchable database of valor award citations collected by Doug Sterner, a Vietnam veteran and Military Times contributing editor, and by Military Times staff.

All you need to know about your military benefits.

Benefits handbook

Guard & Reserve All you need to know about the Guard & Reserve.

guard and reserve handbook