Medicare Glossary

Definitions for common Medicare terms

TRICARE for life (TFL)

DEFINITION: TRICARE for Life serves as supplemental coverage for Medicare, for veterans of the armed services who are eligible for Medicare Part A and B and also eligible for TRICARE. Their family members and survivors — and in some cases, former spouses — are also eligible for TRICARE for Life benefits.

TRICARE for Life coverage is generally secondary to Medicare, paying claims after Medicare has already paid its share. However, if the person is overseas and needs medical care, TRICARE will pay first, as Medicare doesn’t provide coverage outside the US and US territories (the person has to continue to pay premiums for Medicare Part B in that situation in order to have TRICARE for Life, even though Medicare doesn’t provide benefits overseas).