Can You Get TRICARE for Your Parents?

Generally speaking, your parents and parents-in-law are ineligible for most TRICARE benefits, including all civilian health care benefits.  However your parents may be able to receive care at a military hospital or clinic and enroll in TRICARE Plus.

Care for Parents in Military Treatment Facilities

Before anything else, you must be able to legally establish your parents or parents-in-law as your dependents if you are active-duty or retired.

If you are able to register your parents or parents-in-law with DEERS and they are issued uniformed services ID’s, you may apply your parents for care at a military treatment facility or MTF.  Service for dependent parents at MTF is based in unused capacity.  This means other beneficiaries get seen first – especially active-duty service members and their families.  Only when there is room to spare afterward do your parents or -in-laws get seen.

Availability at MTF’s is subject to change, and being accepted at one MTF does not guarantee the same at another.


To get a higher priority at your MTF, you can ask your MTF if your parents or in-laws can enroll in TRICARE Plus there.  Being on TRICARE Plus will allow your parents or parents-in-law to receive primary (routine) care at TRICARE Prime access standards.

TRICARE Plus is available only in some MTF’s, not all.  Further, enrollment in TRICARE Plus at one MTF does not guarantee the same in another MTF.

TRICARE Pharmacy

Dependent parents and parents-in-law who are on Medicare Part A and have purchased Medicare Part B can also get prescription drugs through the TRICARE Pharmacy Program.  They can have prescriptions filled at TRICARE network pharmacies or have them delivered to their homes.