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I'm 100%PT my wife is being medically retired from Army


So back story. I am 100%P&T, but my wife is being medically retired from Army, and we have 2children under 18 and one 18yr old living at home going to school. I am curious how the coverage works. During her out-processing they said she has to make a choice in which Tricare she is going to go with. Do we not have a choice between Champva vs Tricare?

Thank you for the help. I did read the FAQ but wasn't sure if rules have changed with any of the latest changes passed by congress.

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If your wife is medically retired Tricare is automatic and you will not be allowed to used Champva its not and either or selection. Since she is retiring you may want to stay close to a Military base because you will be allowed to use the Medical system on base, which may be much better than care of post/Base depending where you live. Since you are 100%  I suspect you were awarded chapter 35 benefits for your children and spouse can go to college. You children can remain on tricare until age 26 if they are in college. You spouse will have 10 years to use the chapter 35 benefits usually from the time you are notified of the benefit. Also with retirement she will get the retired Id card, and you and the children 10 years and older will also get the ID card which enables you to use Base/Post commissary, PX , theater, etc.... 

Edited by Richard1954

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As far as I know, no one has had both Champva AND TRicare, as they are mutually exclusive of each other.  IF you are eligible for BOTH, you will likely have to pick on or the other.  

There are about 10 times as many military retiree's (tricare)  as there are 100 percent disabled Vets (Champva).    The numbers are good or bad, depending on your point of view.

The large number of retiree's often means you have a larger choice of doctors.   Some of my local pharmicists, for example are "not familiar" with Champva, but most are familiar with tricare.  

However, there ARE advantages of "small numbers".  Lines are shorter for one.  Its almost like comparing the city life vs country living.  I prefer the country, but most people live in cities, so obviously Im in the minority.  

If you think the advantages of large numbers is more important, such as more choices of doctors, then go with tricare.  Otherwise, go with champva if given the choice.  You may not be given a choice.  Keep us informed.  

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My ex is AD and I am 100% PT, our kids stayed on tricare until they reached the age of 21 and then went on my champva until they were 23 (as they no longer met the requirements to be on his tricare as he provided zero support) they did meet the requirements to be on my champva because they were in college, the youngest of those 3 children is about to turn 20 and he will be the last that we go through this HUGE hassle.  It is a huge pain in the as$ because I have to get it sorted out with DEERS as he does not cooperate.  The last child it took a congressional inquiry to his command to force him to go down and take him off his DEERS.  It was a mess.  The good thing is that this is you and your current spouse so much easier to deal with, personally I would choose tricare because at least then you can choose to cover them past the age of 23.  Champva you get you choice after 23, my daughter became very ill  the month after she turned 23 while in college and had no way to get health insurance.  IT was a disaster.


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I have to admit it sounds like you know way more about Champva and Tricare than I do and we need someone at hadit to answer those types of questions.  I know a little about Champva, but nothing about tricare, as Im not eligible for tricare.  

It sounds like your kids were inappreciative of you providing them with health insurance.  Since they were apparently over 21, you "can" just let them do what they want and let the chips fall where they may.  Im an empty nester also, and its a great temptation to "do" for adult kids what they should be doing for themselves.  The problem with that is they may think you are ALWAYS their "backup" so they dont need to worry about stuff like being responsible and you get a full time job going behind adult kids who "blow off" stuff they need to take care of.  In other words, we "enable" them to be irresponsible.  

I did "just" that.  I even got a birth certificate for an adult son (he needed it to get his drivers license.  He did not seem to think he needed a drivers license, even tho he drove.  He thought because the drivers license was lost, not taken away, he would be okay.  That is a very bad idea.) .  

     Now I wish I would have let him stumble earlier, and let him learn on his own I wouldnt be there to pick up the pieces forever.  I cant believe I am still making parenting mistakes after more than 40 years of being a parent.  

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My question is more along the lines on if we are required to use the Tricare because of her retired status or if we have an option. If we have an option which one is commonly thought of as "better".

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