Share a conversation

Are you a military retiree or a dependent with TRICARE For Life (TFL), planning to live or travel overseas? Understanding how your TFL coverage adapts outside the U.S. and U.S. territories is crucial for managing your healthcare smoothly and avoiding unexpected expenses.

What Does TRICARE For Life Offer Overseas?

Unlike stateside, where Medicare often pairs with TRICARE to cover healthcare services, overseas operations differ. “TRICARE For Life works differently overseas,” explains Michael Griffin, a program analyst at the TRICARE Overseas Program Office. “Knowing your options for getting care and how to file claims will help you avoid unexpected costs.”

Key Facts About TFL Coverage

  • Eligibility: This benefit is available to military retirees and their eligible dependents who are enrolled in both Medicare Part A and Part B.
  • Coverage: In the U.S., Medicare is your primary coverage provider, with TFL providing wraparound coverage. Overseas, TRICARE steps in as the primary provider unless you have other health insurance, which would then take precedence.
  • Costs: All TFL beneficiaries have a catastrophic cap on out-of-pocket expenses, along with standard deductibles and cost-shares. Some services may require pre-authorization.

Shop our Merch and support MilSpouse Conversations as we bring inspiration & empowerment one conversation at a time.

Accessing Healthcare With Tricare For Life Coverage Overseas

Getting Care

You can access care at military hospitals and clinics if space is available or from civilian providers. The TRICARE For Life Handbook and the Overseas Provider Directory are invaluable resources for finding approved healthcare providers in the TRICARE International SOS network. Note that if you opt for civilian providers, you may need to pay upfront and request an itemized bill for reimbursement.

Special Note for the Philippines

In the Philippines, care must be sought from a Preferred or Certified Provider. In emergency situations, seek the nearest emergency facility and coordinate with Global 24 Network Services promptly for ongoing care.

Handling Prescriptions and Claims Overseas With Tricare For Life Coverage


Filling prescriptions is straightforward at military pharmacies or through TRICARE Pharmacy Home Delivery, where available. If using non-network overseas pharmacies, you’ll need to pay upfront and file for reimbursement.

Filing Claims

After paying for care or prescriptions, submit your claims to International SOS with proof of payment. Claims should be filed within three years from the date of service or discharge. For detailed guidance, contact your TRICARE Overseas Program Regional Call Center.

Stay Informed

Regardless of where your journey takes you, staying informed about your TFL benefits is key. Regularly consult the TRICARE For Life Handbook and use the TRICARE For Life Cost Matrix to stay on top of potential costs and procedures. These tools will help ensure that you can navigate the complexities of healthcare while abroad with ease and confidence.

Enjoyed what you read? If our stories and insights resonate with you, consider showing your support by buying us a coffee. Your support helps keep the conversations alive and means the world to us. Support MilSpouse Conversations with a coffee here. Every sip counts!

Share a conversation