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Tricare for Life (TFL) is a health insurance program for qualified military retirees and their beneficiaries. This is different than Medicare.
Tricare for Life can serve as a supplement, or wraparound, for people who are enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B. Therefore Original Medicare will be your primary insurance. To have TFL you must enroll in Original Medicare Parts A & B.
TFL acts similar to a Medicare Supplemental Health Plan. Since you do not pay for TFL, it will cost you less than a Supplemental /Medigap plan. TFL will help to pay for medical expenses like the Part A (hospital deductible) and Part B (20% coinsurance) that you would otherwise be responsible for paying. You can see any doctor that participates in Medicare.
TFL also includes prescription drug coverage, which you can use in lieu of Medicare Part D. Some people purchase Part D for additional coverage. If you decide later on that you want Part D, there will not be a late fee penalty because Tricare drug coverage is creditable for Part D so the penalty is waived.
Some services that are not medically necessary may not be covered. An example would be cosmetic procedures like botox injections for frown lines.
Some Medicare beneficiaries with Tricare express interest in Medicare Advantage plans. This is often because some plans offer “extra” benefits such as coverage for chiropractic, dental, hearing and vision or free gym memberships.
Since Original Medicare does not provide benefits for these extra benefits, Medicare Advantage plans can provide these benefits for little cost.
When you enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan, that plan is primary. However, TFL is will often pick up the copays on your Medicare Advantage plan anyway providing you with little out of pocket expenses. Since TFL includes drug coverage, you can enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan without drug coverage.
You need to evaluate a Medicare Advantage Plan because if you enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan, you are then limited to using only the Medicare Advantage plan’s network of doctors which will be considerably smaller than what you would have with Original Medicare and/or Tricare.
Contact Kobey Liles (NOW) to discuss your options as a Veteran. 972-740-2658
You must enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan during the Open Enrollment Period (Annual Election Period);
from October 15 --- December 7.
Medicare Open Enrollment - DOES NOT impact those who are enrolling in Medicare for the first time.
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