TRICARE For Life (TFL) is Medicare-wraparound coverage if you are TRICARE-eligible and have Medicare Part A and B, regardless of age or place of residence. Coverage is only for those with Medicare and who are TRICARE-eligible. Coverage doesn’t extend to family members.

  • TFL Enrollment not required
    • TFL Coverage is automatic if you have Medicare Part A and B
    • Coverage starts the first day Medicare Part A and B are in effect
    • You must pay Medicare Part B premiums
  • Coverage is available worldwide

Learn More about TRICARE and Medicare Eligibility Requirements. 

How does TRICARE For Life Work?

There isn’t an enrollment card for TRICARE For Life. All you need is your Medicare card and military ID as proof of coverage.

You may visit any authorized provider. >>Find a Doctor

  • In most cases, your provider files your claims with Medicare.
  • Medicare pays its portion first and sends the claim to the TRICARE For Life claims processor.
  • TRICARE For Life then pays the provider directly for TRICARE-covered services.
    • Generally, you'll have no out-of-pocket costs for services that both Medicare and TRICARE cover.
    • You’ll have out-of-pocket costs for care that isn’t covered by Medicare and/or TRICARE.

You can get care at military hospitals and clinics, but only if space is available. >>Find a Military Hospital or Clinic

Does TRICARE For Life Work Overseas?

Medicare provides coverage in the U.S. and U.S. Territories. Medicare doesn't provide coverage in any other overseas locations.

When using TRICARE For Life in all overseas locations, whether you live overseas or are traveling overseas, TRICARE is the primary payer and you're responsible for paying TRICARE's annual deductible and cost shares. >>View TRICARE For Life Costs.

If you live overseas, you must have Part B to remain eligible for TRICARE even though Medicare doesn't provide coverage overseas.

Do I have to Pay an Enrollment Fee?

No. You don't pay any enrollment fees, but you must pay Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B monthly premiums. Medicare Part A is paid from payroll taxes while you are working. Your Part B premium is based on your income, but you must have Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B.

For more information about Part B premiums:

  • Visit the Medicare website 
  • Call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY: 1-800-325-0778) 

Will I Have Any Out-of-Pocket Costs? 





Covered by TRICARE and Medicare

Medicare-authorized amount

Remaining amount


Covered by Medicare only

Medicare-authorized amount


Medicare deductible and cost-shareA percentage of the total cost of a covered health care service that you pay.

Covered by TRICARE only


TRICARE-allowable amount

TRICARE deductible and cost-share

Not covered by TRICARE or Medicare



Billed charges (which may exceed the Medicare or TRICARE-allowable amount)

To learn more about what TRICARE covers >>Learn more 

To learn more about what Medicare covers >>Learn more

Need to file or check the status of a claim? >>Learn more

Using TRICARE For Life with Other Health InsuranceHealth insurance you have in addition to TRICARE, such as Medicare or an employer-sponsored health insurance. TRICARE supplements don’t qualify as "other health insurance."

If you have other health insurance, such as a Medicare supplement or an employer-sponsored health plan, you can use TRICARE For Life as long as you have both Medicare Parts A and B. If you have other types of insurance: 




Employer-sponsored insurance with current employer. 

  1. The other health insurance pays first. 
  2. Medicare pays second.
  3. TRICARE pays last.

In this case, your employer with file your health claims. 

Other Health Insurance (OHI) that ins't based on your or a family member's current employement

  1. Medicare pays first. 
  2. The OHI pays second.
  3. TRICARE pays last.

In this care, you must file a claim with the TFL contractor. Submit a paper claim to WPS along with a copy of: 

  • Your provider's itemized bill, 
  • The Medicare Summary Notice, and
  • The explanation of benefits from all other health insurances.

Your claim must be filed within one year from the date of care. For more information, visit the WPS website.

Can I suspend my FEHB coverage to use TRICARE For Life?

Yes. Call the Office of Personnel Management’s Retirement Information line at 1-888-767-6738 to get a suspension form.

Who Do I Contact If I Need Help?

The TRICARE For Life contractors assist with claims and provide customer service to all those using TRICARE For Life.

Want to Learn More about TRICARE For Life? 

Check out the new TRICARE For Life 101 podcast series. The new series helps retired service members or their eligible family members who will turn 65 soon understand their TRICARE For Life benefits. The series covers several topics, from an overview of basics, to how TFL and Medicare interact, and more! >>Learn more

Are you looking to see what tests, items, or services Medicare covers? >>Learn more.

Want to order a hard copy of the TRICARE For Life Handbook? Call Wisconsin Physicians Service (WPS) at 1-866-773-0404.

Last Updated 3/5/2024