Do we need to enroll in Medicare A, B, or A and B with our TRICARE?

1 answer | Last updated: Sep 25, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

My husband and I are elegible for TRICARE For Life because of my husband's military service. My question is: Do we need to enroll in (Medicare A) or (Medicare B) or (Medicare A and B)with our TRICARE insurance? What does TRICARE for Life require and what would be the best decision? I want to be sure we are protected. Also, how much are the monthly fees (per person) for Medicare? I don't think there is a monthly fee for TRICARE for Life ... but, I could be wrong. Thank you so much for your time and kind assistance. I am trying to budget for insurance costs prior to retirement.

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

In order to get Tricare For Life, both of you need to be enrolled in both Medicare Part A and Part B. There is no monthly fee for Medicare Part A, that is taken care of by the government. However, there are deductibles and co-pays. There is a monthly fee for Medicare Part B. Most people pay $96.50 per month. Some people with higher incomes pay a higher fee. The premium is usually deducted from your social security check.

When you are covered by both Medicare and Tricare For Life, Medicare is the primary coverage and Tricare is the secondary. If a service is covered by both plans, Tricare will pay the deductibles and co-pays that Medicare doesn't pay. If a service is not covered by Medicare or you have used up your Medicare benefit, Tricare becomes the primary, subject to its deductibles and co-pays.

Rest assured that with both of these plans, you are well covered for future medical expenses.