TRICARE is managed by the Defense Health Agency (DHA) under the policy guidance and direction of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Health Affairs) (ASD[HA]). The DHA manages the TRICARE budget, executes TRICARE policies and oversees the entire TRICARE health program.
Military retirees are eligible for TRICARE For Life. TRICARE For Life offers secondary coverage to Medicare for all beneficiaries who have both Medicare Parts A and B.
Using TRICARE For Life at Veterans Affairs Facilities
Veterans Affairs (VA) facilities, even if they are in the TRICARE network, are not Medicare-authorized providers.
- By law, Medicare cannot pay for care at a government facility. When you use TRICARE For Life to receive care for a non-service-connected condition from a VA facility, even when the VA facility is in the TRICARE network, the VA cannot bill Medicare.
- By law, when you seek care from a non-Medicare provider, such as the VA, TRICARE can pay only up to 20 percent of the TRICARE allowable charge.
TRICARE and the VA recommend that you get care for your service-connected disability at a VA facility. For all of your other care, you should consider all of your options, including using a Medicare-certified provider. When using Medicare providers, you typically have no out-of-pocket costs for services covered by both Medicare and TRICARE. If you use your TRICARE For Life benefit at a VA facility and have no other VA benefit to cover those costs, you will have to pay the remaining balance after TRICARE pays its 20% of the TRICARE-allowable charge.
You may wish to talk to your VA facility about your VA options, including how VA claims are processed if you are entitled to Medicare or have other health insurance.
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