TRICARE For Life: Essential Tips for Getting Care with Medicare Coverage

Falls Church, Va. – For those who are either new to TRICARE For Life (TFL) or have been enrolled for years, there may be questions about navigating healthcare with TFL. TFL provides wraparound coverage for military retirees and their eligible family members with Medicare Part A and Part B. This means that Medicare is the primary health coverage when a person has TFL.

Understanding how Medicare coverage works is essential in order to avoid unexpected costs. It’s important to note that Medicare provides coverage in the U.S. and U.S. territories as well as on ships in U.S. territorial waters. However, it does not cover care in all other overseas locations, making TFL the primary health coverage in those situations unless the individual has other health insurance.

When it comes to receiving care, most TFL beneficiaries seek care from civilian Medicare providers, with the TRICARE For Life Handbook outlining the different types of civilian providers available in the U.S. and U.S. territories. These providers can include Medicare participating providers, Medicare non-participating providers, and opt-out providers.

Aside from civilian Medicare providers, beneficiaries also have the option to receive care at military hospitals or clinics if space is available. In overseas locations, TFL beneficiaries can seek care from TRICARE-authorized civilian providers, with specific guidance for those in the Philippines.

While Medicare and TRICARE cover many of the same health care services, it’s important to check what each covers before seeking care to ensure lower out-of-pocket costs and coordinate benefits effectively. Additionally, for those considering a Medicare Advantage Plan, it’s crucial to understand the implications and requirements of such a plan and the ability to disenroll if necessary.

It’s recommended that individuals with questions about their TFL coverage reach out to their designated contacts, whether it’s WPS for care in the U.S. and U.S. territories or the TRICARE Overseas regional call center for those traveling or living overseas. Accessing resources and seeking clarity on coverage is essential for navigating healthcare with TFL effectively.