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Where will I get health insurance?

Your military health insurance generally ends the day you separate. Knowing what you’re eligible for now, and how the costs and coverage vary, can help you make sure you and your family are protected.

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If you want to keep your TRICARE

If you’re retiring from the military, you will remain eligible for TRICARE. Otherwise, coverage ends when service ends. But there are a few options if you want to keep the plan.

Continued Health Care Benefit Program (CHCBP)
It’s the same TRICARE coverage you had on active duty, but you pay for it out of pocket.



You’re eligible for 18 to 36 months after completing service.

Transitional Assistance Management Program (TAMP)
This is meant to be temporary coverage (up to 180 days) for those who were honorably but involuntarily separated, or in a few other scenarios. To see if you qualify, check the TRICARE site.

The National Guard
If you join the National Guard after you separate from active duty, you and your family may still be eligible for TRICARE. Coverage will depend on your service status.

Finding a long-term plan

Employer coverage
Companies with 50+ employees must offer health insurance, and many smaller companies do, too. The employer pays a portion, and you generally pay a premium that’s auto-deducted from your pay.

$462 per month
Average employee contribution for family coverage under an employer health plan in 2018.
Source: Kaiser Family Foundation

Partner coverage
If your spouse is eligible for coverage at work, you may be able to enroll, too, depending on employer policy.

State exchanges
If employer-sponsored insurance isn’t an option, you can buy insurance through a state health care exchange. Costs vary by state. Depending on your income, you may qualify for subsidies or tax credits to help with the cost.


$345 per month
Lowest cost bronze plan before tax credit that covers you only after you pay several thousand dollars out of pocket


$520 per month
Lowest cost gold plan before tax credit with much lower costs for care

Source: Commonwealth Fund, 2018

Veterans Health Administration
While not technically insurance, the VHA may be a care option. If you served in active duty military service and were separated under any condition other than dishonorable, you may qualify for VA health care.

More information on who qualifies for VHA care can be found on the Veterans Affairs website.

For the most part, family members of veterans do not qualify for health benefits, though there are some exceptions.

The VHA has

1,250 care sites
and treats
9 million

Source: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, 2018

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The material provided on this website is for informational use only and is not intended for financial, tax or investment advice. Bank of America and/or its affiliates, and Khan Academy, assume no liability for any loss or damage resulting from one’s reliance on the material provided. Please also note that such material is not updated regularly and that some of the information may not therefore be current. Consult with your own financial professional and tax advisor when making decisions regarding your financial situation.

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