Tricare vs. employer health plan


Q: As a retiree, will I be required to participate in my company’s health insurance plan in my new job as a civilian, in lieu of my Tricare-retired health plan? I am told that the health care reform bill may require employees to purchase company health plans, despite already having Tricare. That said, I anticipate my company’s premiums to be substantially higher than the plan I accepted upon retirement from the military.

A: I’m not aware of any situation in which someone who already has health benefits coverage would be required to pay for a health benefits plan offered by their employer. Further, to the best of my knowledge, what you’ve heard about the health benefits reform bill isn’t true for those enrolled in either Tricare or the Federal Employees Health Benefits program.


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Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to

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