When you separate from the service or "get out" before you retire, you and your family may qualify for transitional health care options.
Active Duty Service Members
If you qualify, these programs offer temporary coverage until you have a new health plan.
Separating from active duty is different than retiring from active duty. Learn about your options when you retire.
Voluntary Separation Benefits
If you voluntarily separate under the Special Separation Benefit (SSB) or the Voluntary Separation Incentive (VSI) options, you are entitled to all of the benefits provided for involuntarily separated members. Members who choose the SSB or VSI options (and their families) may qualify for temporary coverage through the Continued Health Care Benefit Program.
National Guard/Reserve Members
Your eligibility depends on you military status before you separate.
If you separate immediately following a period of active duty service, you may qualify for one or both of the following programs:
If you are not currently activated, you may qualify for transitional coverage in some scenarios. Please check with your Service representative for details. If you are a member of the Selected Reserve and currently enrolled in TRICARE Reserve Select, you may purchase the Continued Health Care Benefit Program when you separate and lose eligibility.
Certain members of the Selected Reserve who are covered by TRICARE Reserve Select and involuntarily separated under other than adverse conditions, may have access to extended TRICARE Reserve Select coverage up to 180 days. For more information, contact your service personnel department.
Certificate of Creditable Coverage
Upon loss of eligibilty, you and all family members registered in DEERS will receive a certificate of creditable coverage. The certificate offers evidence of coverage when you sign up for a new health plan.
Keeping Minimum Essential Coverage
While covered by TRICARE, you have minimum essential coverage under the Affordable Care Act. When you lose TRICARE, you'll be losing that minimum essential coverage and you'll need to make some decisions about your health care.
If you don’t have new minimum essential coverage before your TRICARE or transitional benefits end, then you may have to pay a fee to the Internal Revenue Service for each month you don’t have minimum essential coverage.