Health Care


I'm rated at 80% disabled by the VA payable at 100% and receive free medical care through my local VA clinic. My spouse receives free ChampVA. My 60th birthday is in a few months and at that time my Army Reserve retirement pay will kick in. But also, at that time, she will be ineligible for ChampVA. Will I also be ineligible for VA medical? Will we both have to switch to Tricare Select or Tricare for Life?


Jim's Reply:


I don't know. This is the very first time I've run into the retired Army Reserve retirement pay system and I'll congratulate them on having made it incredibly complex. There are more nuances. twists and turns than most and that's saying a lot.

I'd urge you to find someone local to you, perhaps even on a local military base, who knows of any recent changes to the complex rules and regs that support your health care and your retirement. 

I've looked over a number of documents like   and it's pretty clear that you start Tricare at age 60 and that's a good get to choose your doctors and so on. But losing her CHAMPVA may or may not be all that positive since overall that's pretty good insurance. I have to assume she will also get Tricare but I don't know how the decisions for different varieties of Tricare will work.

I'm afraid this is one of those life events that will probably cause some stress due to so many unanswered questions and variables as you proceed. That's the bad news. The great news is that you have what is likely the best health care insurance options available in America today and that's a very good thing. Good luck!