Special Topics for Serving Military (Active and/or Reserve Components) Only

The TRICARE Reserve Select Health Benefit for Survivors #

Buried within the 2024 National Defense Authorization Act (PL 118-31) passed at the last moment and signed into law on 22 December 2024, is a provision in Section 702 called the “Extension Of Period Of Eligibility For Health Benefits Under TRICARE Reserve Select For Survivors Of A Member Of The Selected Reserve.” It  extended the period of eligibility from six months to three years. It becomes effective 1 October 2025.

The benefit is subsidized by the federal government. Members who elect coverage under TRICARE Reserve Select (TRS) pay a premium of 28% of the cost of the plan. Compare that with the offering to gray-area retirees who choose to enroll in TRICARE Retired Reserve.  They pay the full cost of the plan.

The nearly hidden amendment has significant importance for surviving family members of deceased National Guard and reserve members who were enrolled in TRS.   “Instead of scurrying around to find replacement coverage, they can have some peace of mind that their health care coverage will continue, especially if the family is facing medical issues that might take longer than six months to resolve.”, as the Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the United States put it in their 5 February 2024 article.

For more information on current TRICARE  plans, click here.


Last Updated: 10 February 2024

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