20/20/15 Former Spouse Rule

If the divorced spouse of a service member does not qualify under the 20/20/20 Rule, all is not lost. If the marriage and the years of service did not overlap for twenty years, the service member's spouse may still qualify for continued health care benefits through Tricare for a limited period of time under the 20/20/15 Rule. 

 

To qualify under the 20/20/15 Rule, the former spouse must satisfy three things. First, just as in the 20/20/20 Rule, the service member must have served for at least twenty years. Second, the marriage must have lasted for at least twenty years. Third, the period of the marriage must have overlapped the period of service by between 15 and twenty years. 

 

If the former spouse meets the requirements of the 20/20/15 Rule, the Tricare medical coverage will be available for a transitional period of one year. The former spouse will not, however, have access to the military exchange and will not have base or commissary privileges. Additionally, if the former spouse is covered by an employer-sponsored health care plan, Tricare medical benefits will not be available. If the former spouse has employer-sponsored health care benefits but later loses those benefits, Tricare will become available, but only for the remainder of the original one year period.

 

As with other rules, the dates for determining eligibility are measured from the date of marriage to the date the divorce decree is entered. 

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