FIGURE 3-4 Terminology related to the uniformed services health care system.

If readiness is to be maintained, the families of ADSMs also must receive the medical care they need. The stress of deployment would only be magnified if an ADSM were concerned about the health care available to his/her family members.

Active Duty Retirees and Their Dependents

Retirees and their dependents have earned their health care benefits through their years of active service. Until age 65, retirees and their family members have the option of participating in various TRICARE options, some with enrollment fees and copayments. When a retiree or family member reaches age 65 or is otherwise eligible for Medicare, TRICARE for Life becomes applicable. TRICARE for Life generally requires participation in Medicare Parts A and B and acts as a secondary payer. Beneficiaries usually bear no out-of-pocket costs for specific medical services received. TRICARE for Life also provides an enhanced benefit package over Medicare. Most TRICARE for Life benefits are provided by civilian TRICARE contractors; however, military treatment facilities provide care to these beneficiaries on a space-available basis as well.

National Guard and Reserve Members and Their Dependents

Members of the National Guard and Reserves and their dependents make up yet another beneficiary group. The specifics of coverage for this group are complex, depending on the particulars of the sponsor’s

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