How Does Medicare Affect TRICARE?
For service members who are entitled to Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) and Part B (medical insurance), TRICARE provides Medicare “wraparound” coverage. Medicare is the primary payer for these beneficiaries, and TRICARE serves as a supplement, paying the Medicare deductible and patient cost share.
If you are entitled to Medicare Part A based on disability or permanent kidney failure, contact the Department of Defense to find out how this may affect your TRICARE benefits. You may need to be enrolled in Medicare Part B to keep your TRICARE coverage. For general information about TRICARE, please visit www.tricare.mil/mybenefit/ProfileFilter.do.
Individuals who are awarded retroactive Social Security disability benefits may also become entitled to Medicare Part A for months before they receive their disability award notice.
Effective October 2009, TRICARE beneficiaries who are awarded retroactive benefits based on disability or permanent kidney failure do not have to pay for Part B for those months in the past in order to keep TRICARE. You should, however, contact the Department of Defense to find out whether you would now need to enroll in Medicare Part B in order to keep your TRICARE.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 provides for a 12-month Medicare Part B special enrollment period for TRICARE beneficiaries who are entitled to Medicare Part A, but did not enroll in Medicare Part B during their initial enrollment period. The Department of Defense will notify eligible individuals about this period.
For more information about TRICARE and recent changes in the law, please visit: