Tricare for College Kids 101

TRICARE for college kids

Fall semester is in full swing and college students are filing into lecture halls and dorm rooms around the country. Whether your military kid is college-bound for the first time, or taking time off while staying at home, you’ll want to make sure that their health care survives their transition into independence. 

As long as the military sponsor remains eligible for TRICARE, your child will remain eligible for TRICARE Prime or Standard (soon to be TRICARE Select) until their 21st birthday; whether they attend school or not. 

They may also remain eligible for TRICARE until their 23rd birthday, as long as they are in school full-time, and receive at least 50% of their financial support from the sponsor. The student may remain on their sponsor’s TRICARE plan until they graduate, get married, or turn 23 years of age

How and where they receive their healthcare will depend on the sponsors status and the student’s location. 

TRICARE Young Adult

If you’re unmarried adult child is at least 21, but not yet 26 years old, they could be eligible for TRICARE Young Adult (TYA). 

TYA offers comprehensive medical and pharmacy benefits, however it does not include dental coverage.

TYA plans are premium-based, meaning they (or you) would be responsible for premium payments each month, and the amount depends on whether they are TYA Prime ($319 per month) or TYA Standard ($216 per month). 

You and your adult child should also review all of their health plan options before deciding if TYA is the way to go. This means exploring other avenues such as:

  • Enrolling in another parent’s civilian health plan
  • Purchasing coverage through their college or university
  • Enrolling in a plan through the health insurance marketplace (which may prove cost-effective, as young adults often receive a tax-credit on their premiums depending on their income and where they live)

As a reminder, TRICARE reform is right around the corner. TRICARE will continue to push out information regarding costs, coverage, and eligibility changes throughout the process. It’s important stay informed on how these changes may impact your military family, and we highly recommend signing up for email updates, as well.

Posted August 31, 2017

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