A spouse divorcing a servicemember in Wisconsin must be aware of the health insurance benefits available to him/her and the children after divorce. This blog provides some basic information on military health insurance, to be followed by a series of blogs addressing continued coverage for ex-spouses and children.
The military health/dental insurance program is known an Tricare. It is available to all active duty and retired servicemembers. There is no cost to the servicemember or intact family to enroll, nor any cost for deductibles, copays, or prescriptions (at least under Tricare Prime; there are other more costly options). Tricare provides coverage for out of network (non military treatment facility) providers if no network provider is available.
A servicemembers children can remain covered through Tricare after divorce, since they remain family members of the member. The ex-spouse, however, is no longer a family member. He/she has limited rights to continued Tricare post-divorce:
- A spouse who was married to a servicemember for 20 years during which the member performed 20 years of active service is entitled to full Tricare benefits after divorce (provided that separate employer-sponsored health insurance is unavailable).
- A spouse married to a servicemember for 20 years, during which the member performed 15 years of active service is entitled to one year of Tricare, counted from the date of divorce.
- A former spouse who does not meet these criteria cannot continue Tricare after the divorce.
Health insurance issues are vitally important to military members and their families after divorce. We will review options for coverage in the next several blog posts.
Attorney Kowalski routinely represents military members and their spouses in Wisconsin divorce matters. Call anytime for a free consultation.