Under TRICARE, there are a number of programs available to provide military retirees with medical and dental coverage. The most popular are TRICARE Prime, TRICARE For Life, TRICARE Retired Reserve and TRICARE Retired Dental.
TRICARE For Life is covered under the Medicare program (parts A and B) and is available regardless of age or area of residence. Beneficiaries may seek care from any participating or non-participating medical provider and receive minimum essential health care coverage as defined by the Affordable Care Act. Patients are not required to enroll in Medicare but must pay Medicare B premiums.
TRICARE Retired Reserve is designed for retired Reserve and Guard members. This is a premium based system and is offered for retirees under the age of 60, after which they are eligible for other TRICARE programs. Coverage extends to the retiree's immediate family members and features various deductions and coverage limits.
TRICARE Prime is offered to both active and retired members as well as their immediate families. This plan offers minimum essential coverage, and participants are required to enroll in Medicare. TRICARE Prime offers less freedom in choosing medical providers, but beneficiaries pay less out-of-pocket costs for care. TRICARE Dental provides dental coverage for retired service members and their immediate families. This is a voluntary plan that covers routine dental care such as cleanings, exams, orthodontics and minor dental procedures.