TRICARE (formerly known as CHAMPUS) is the Department of Defense's health care program
for retired members of the uniformed services, as well as the spouses and children
of active duty, retired and deceased service members. TRICARE is considered a group
health plan for SEP and premium surcharge rollback purposes. However, these provisions
apply only to beneficiaries whose coverage under TRICARE is based on active duty military status.
These individuals can enroll (or reenroll) in SMI during any month while they are
covered under TRICARE or during the 8-month period that begins the month following
the last month that TRICARE coverage was based on active duty military status.
Example: Susan Miller is covered under TRICARE based on her husband's active duty service
in the Air Force. She can enroll in SMI anytime while covered or during the 8-month
period following the last month of TRICARE coverage based on her husband's active
duty military status.
If however, Susan's coverage under TRICARE is based on her husband's past military
service (which is generally the case for the aged), she is not eligible for an SEP
or the premium surcharge rollback.