Does TRICARE pay for nursing home or assisted living expenses?

1 answer | Last updated: Oct 03, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

Does TRICARE pay for nursing home or assisted living expenses?

Expert Answers

Barbara Steinberg is the CEO and founder of BLS Eldercare Financial Solutions, which specializes in helping families pay for long-term care for their loved ones. A registered financial gerontologist, she speaks regularly on the topic of paying for long-term care and is a financial expert for

The simple answer to your question is no, TRICARE does not cover long term nursing home or assisted living expenses. TRICARE is the health care program serving active military personnel, military retirees and their families. TRICARE uses the same criteria as Medicare for covered services. Like Medicare, TRICARE covers skilled nursing care, limited home health aide services, physical, speech or occupational therapy, and hospice care. Also like Medicare, TRICARE does not cover custodial care including assistance with ADLs (Activities of Daily Living, e.g. dressing, bathing, eating) or supervision for cognitive impairment.

Seniors who have been covered by TRICARE prior to reaching age 65 will transition to TRICARE For Life when they turn 65 and are eligible for Medicare Parts A and B. TRICARE For Life works like a Medicare supplement policy. It pays for covered services that are not paid by Medicare, e.g. copays or deductibles. It may also pay for services not covered by Medicare, but not including custodial care.