By Sharon Foster
TRICARE Management Activity
8/2/2011 – FALLS CHURCH, Va. (AFNS) — TRICARE will continue to provide coverage for family members if a sponsor dies. Options and costs will vary based on the sponsor’s military status when he or she dies and if the surviving beneficiary is a spouse or child
If a beneficiary is the spouse of an active duty service member who died while on active duty, the beneficiary remains eligible for TRICARE as a “transitional survivor” for three years following the sponsor’s death and will have active duty family member benefits and costs.
After three years, a beneficiary remains eligible, as a “survivor,” for TRICARE Standard and TRICARE Extra, and may purchase TRICARE Prime at the retiree rates. If a beneficiary is overseas, he or she remains eligible for TRICARE Overseas Program TOP Standard once the transitional survivor status ends.
If a beneficiary is the child of an active duty service member who died while on active duty, he or she remains eligible for TRICARE benefits as an active duty family member. His or her transitional survivor status ends at age 21, or 23 if the beneficiary is enrolled in a full-time course of study.
In the United States and U.S. territories, the pharmacy benefit remains the same regardless of the TRICARE program option the beneficiary uses. Beneficiaries may fill prescriptions through a military treatment facility, TRICARE Pharmacy Home Delivery, TRICARE retail network pharmacies or a non-network pharmacy.
The TRICARE Dental Program Survivor Benefit Plan is a three-year benefit for transitional survivors offering the same coverage as the regular dental plan. The beneficiary will have no monthly premiums but is responsible for paying applicable cost-shares for covered services.
If enrolled in the dental pla at the time of the sponsor’s death, the beneficiary will be dis-enrolled from the TRICARE Dental Plan and enrolled in the TDP Survivor Benefit Plan.
When the TDP Survivor Benefit Plan ends, the beneficiary is eligible for the TRICARE Retiree Dental Program. The TRDP also may be available if the beneficiary doesn’t qualify for the TDP Survivor Benefit Plan because he or she was not enrolled in the TDP at the time of his or her sponsor’s death.
It is important that all information in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System is up-to-date for this process to move quickly and smoothly.
For more detailed information of TRICARE Survivor Benefits and other TRICARE programs, beneficiaries can go to TRICARE’s website or talk with their regional health care manager.