By taking a few simple steps, retirees can make sure they have their TRICARE benefits after they turn 65 years old.  Beneficiaries should receive a postcard from the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) four months before their 65th birthday. Beneficiaries have to register in DEERS to get TRICARE coverage after reaching age 65. Beneficiaries must have Medicare Part A and Part B to be eligible for TRICARE for Life (TFL). TFL is Medicare “wrap-around” coverage for TRICARE beneficiaries who are entitled to Medicare Part A and have Medicare Part B. The Medicare initial enrollment period is seven months. If a beneficiary misses their initial enrollment period, their next chance to sign up for Medicare Part B is during the general enrollment period, January 1 through March 31. The Medicare coverage will begin July 1st. The monthly premium for Part B may go up 10 percent for each 12-month period that a beneficiary could have had Part B, but didn’t sign up for it. Also, there will be a lapse in your TRICARE coverage until Part B is effective. Be sure to sign up for Part B no later than two months before your 65th birthday. If beneficiaries do not receive a postcard they should call 1-800-538-9552. For more information, contact Sandra at the Veterans Service Office at 602 Strong Ave on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10am to 3pm, or call 365-3612.

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