TRICARE will keep covering family members when a sponsor dies. Spouses can keep their coverage until they remarry. Family member health plan options and costs will vary based on:

  • The sponsor's military status when they die, and
  • If the surviving family member is a spouse or child.

The scenarios below provide an overview of survivor coverage. 

Not sure if your sponsor was on active duty when he/she died? Contact a casualty assistance officer or your sponsor’s unit/service personnel office.

Updating DEERS

You don't have to report the death to the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System(DEERS) A database of information on uniformed services members (sponsors), U.S.-sponsored foreign military, DoD and uniformed services civilians, other personnel as directed by the DoD, and their family members. You need to register in DEERS to get TRICARE. (DEERS). The Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC) gets information from the services and Social Security Administration (SSA). They will update medical and dental for you.

You will only have to report the death to Express Scripts.

It may take some time for DMDC to get the information from the SSA. If you prefer, you may notify DMDC of the death by:

  • Visiting a local ID card office with a copy of the death certificate;
  • Faxing a copy of the death certificate to 1-800-336-4416 (Primary) or 1-502-335-9980 (Alternate); or
  • Mailing a copy of the death certificate to:

Defense Manpower Data Center Support Office
400 Gigling Road
Seaside, CA 93955-6771

If you have questions, call DMDC at 1-800-538-9552. Visit milConnect to learn more.

Last Updated 9/11/2023