Denis M. Gravel & Associates P.C. , A Family Law Practice

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What is the 20-20-20 rule?

On Behalf of | Jan 25, 2022 | Military Divorce

Having an association with a military servicemember holds many unique benefits, including access to TRICARE, a type of healthcare coverage with many sought-after benefits. Naturally, after receiving such benefits, you may fear losing them if you divorce your military spouse.

Fortunately, you may have a path to keep your TRICARE coverage even in the event of a divorce. But how can you do so?

Are you still eligible?

TRICARE takes a look at the 20-20-20 rule as it applies in military divorce. First of all, you do not need to worry about your children losing their access to the insurance at all, regardless of your own eligibility. They can retain their TRICARE benefits until reaching the age of majority. In some cases, they can even retain benefits through college.

You hold eligibility if you fit the parameters of the 20-20-20 rule, but what is it? Simply put, it requires you to have a marriage with a servicemember that lasted 20 years. Your servicemember spouse must have 20 years of creditable service that goes toward the TRICARE benefits. Finally, you need to have 20 years of overlap between these two requirements. In short, you must have at least 20 years of marriage and 20 years of active service credits at the same time to keep your benefits. You can use it until you remarry or get new healthcare.

The 20-20-15 rule

If you do not fit these criteria, you may still fit the 20-20-15 criteria, in which only 15 years of overlap occur between years of service and years of marriage. However, you can only hold onto benefits for a year after that.