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Dissolution and Military Spouse Healthcare Benefits

There are many unique aspects of military family law - former spouse healthcare benefits included. Upon dissolution of marriage, a former spouse of a military member or retiree may be eligible for continued benefits, such as health coverage. Continued military benefits to former spouses and children can be very valuable. Unmarried children and stepchildren of military members retain full military benefits until age 22.

Benefits During Separation

Until a dissolution, AKA divorce decree is issued, a civilian spouse separated from a military member retains full military privileges, including identification card, medical care, military exchange and commissary shopping privileges. This is true even in legal separation where a decree of legal separation is issued, however the spouse will not continue to accrue an interest in the military member's retirement.

Benefits After Divorce 20/20/20 Benefits

A former spouse who was married to a military member for at least 20 years that overlapped the military service qualifies for continued medical benefits under the affordable Tricare program. The former spouse is also entitled to commissary and military exchanges shopping privileges.

Tricare continuation is not automatic and requires action on the part of the former spouse. The former spouse must register for Tricare under their own name and Social Security Number.

The former spouse must provide an original marriage certificate, divorce decree, and proof of military service or retirement for the member.

20/20/15 Benefits

A former spouse who was married to a military member for at least 15 years that overlapped the military service qualifies for one year of transitional medical benefits, though not commissary or exchange shopping privileges.

Remarriage of the former spouse terminates medical benefits, and suspends other privileges during the marriage, such as commissary and military exchange shopping privileges. If the marriage ends by death or dissolution, then the non-medical privileges are reinstated.

Continued Health Care Benefit Program (CHCBP)

Any divorced and unremarried spouse is eligible for transitional health insurance through the Continued Health Care Benefit Program (CHCBP). It is intended to be a bridge between military and civilian medical coverage so that a spouse can maintain coverage at all times. The price is much higher than Tricare and may not be competitive with other private medical programs. CHCBP must be elected within 60 days of losing Tricare coverage. A former spouse can elect the coverage by completing Department of Defense Form 2837 - Continued Health Care Benefit Program Application and up to 36 months of coverage is generally available.

Janko Law - Is It Time for a Change?

Divorce and family law matters are difficult to navigate alone. The court system is more complex than it should be. With offices in Colorado Springs and Denver, we can guide you through the experience by handling pleading and motion preparation and filing, negotiation, mediation, and court proceedings from start to finish. This allows you to focus on moving forward to a better future rather than on trying to figure out how the overly complex court system works. Remember that change often creates new opportunity and a better future. Janko Law can help ensure that your best interests and the best interests of your family are protected. Contact us at 720-780-0115 or complete our online form to set up a free thirty-minute informational consultation.

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