Stay Covered After Age 21 with TRICARE Young Adult


Have you recently graduated from college, but you haven’t found your dream job yet? Or did you just turn 21, and you’re not enrolled in college? If you’re worried about your health care coverage as a military dependent, TRICARE Young Adult (TYA) may give you the coverage you need. TYA eligibility begins when regular TRICARE coverage ends at age 21, or up to age 23 if enrolled in college.

Is TRICARE Young Adult Right for You?

TYA is an option for unmarried, young adult dependents who have aged out of regular TRICARE coverage. It’s only available for individuals and isn’t offered as a family plan. The TYA benefit includes either TRICARE Prime or TRICARE Select coverage worldwide. The sponsor’s status and the dependent’s geographic location determine eligibility to purchase TYA Prime or TYA Select. TYA coverage includes medical and pharmacy benefits, but excludes dental coverage.

Are You Eligible?

You qualify to purchase TYA if you’re:

  • An unmarried, adult child of an eligible uniformed service sponsor
  • At least age 21, but not yet 26 years old (see further restrictions)
  • Not eligible to enroll in an employer-sponsored health plan based on your own employment
  • Not otherwise eligible for TRICARE program coverage

To participate, you’re required to pay monthly premiums. Your plan options (for example, TYA Prime or TYA Select) and sponsor’s military status determine what you pay for covered services. Check out TRICARE Young Adult Costs to learn more about TYA costs and fees.

How Do You Enroll?

If you qualify for TYA, you must actively enroll in and purchase the plan. There are four ways to enroll in TYA:

Before deciding if TYA is right for you, you should review all of your health care options. Visit Children Becoming Adults for more about coverage once TRICARE eligibility ends for dependent children. You can also find other health care coverage options through the Health Insurance Marketplace.

Take command of your health, and learn more about TYA and TRICARE coverage at any age. Download the TRICARE Young Adult Fact Sheet and browse other TRICARE publications.

At the time of posting, this information is current. For the most recent information, contact your TRICARE contractor or local military hospital or clinic.

Last Updated 2/17/2021