Ways Your Family Can Reap Benefits of Your Military Service

Many people are drawn to joining the military because of its job security, long-term benefits, and after-service benefits that help both the service members and their families. 

Not only do service members have a secured future, but their family members also receive their own benefits, such as car insurance. 

For example, active and former service members get USAA insurance eligibility, an insurance company for veterans only. As a result, military families get auto insurance discounts, among other things.

There are many other benefits that a family can receive when a loved one is serving in the military, so let’s take a look at such benefits and how to plan for when your service ends.

Life Insurance Coverage in the Event of an Active Duty Casualty

The benefits package of all military members includes a life insurance policy in the scenario of an active duty casualty. 

Not only does the military family have the reassurance of knowing their service member is covered, but they can receive their own benefits as well. 

With the Family Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (FSGLI), any qualifying spouse or dependent of a military member can receive term life insurance benefits. 

The spouses will have to pay a premium, but any dependent children will be covered without a premium.

Housing and Dining Benefits: On-Base Room and Board

The military is well-known for providing military members and their families with military housing. 

The list of housing options grows as a service member ranks up, but even in the beginning of their service, military members and their families are provided with on-base room and board.

Nowadays, the on-base communities are very similar to civilian communities. 

They can provide amenities such as schools, banks, theaters, libraries, and more.

With the use of a military ID, service members and their families have access to commissaries (grocery stores) on base that provide families with discounts and savings, as well as familiar products that remind them of life outside of living on base. 

Plus, there is even more convenience with the CLICK2GO program, allowing groceries to be ordered online and picked up curbside. 

The program is not available at every commissary yet, but it is quickly expanding throughout the U.S. and will eventually be available overseas.

Health and Dental Care Benefits for Service Members & Families

Most military bases have their own hospitals and dentistries, and the military is also well-known for providing military families with excellent health insurance coverage.

The healthcare plan that the military provides is called TRICARE. Some of the services it covers include medical care, prescription medication access, and dental and vision coverage. 

The amount of coverage that a family receives depends on the care plan, just like any other type of health insurance.


The different TRICARE plans are based on a variety of factors, including whether the service member is on active duty and how close the family is to a military facility.

Here’s a brief overview of each TRICARE plan:

  • Prime: This plan is available for active duty members and their families. The plan includes general preventive and vision care, which is provided by a primary care manager (PCM), but they can see a specialist when needed. Generally, there are no extra fees or co-pays for the service members, but family members may require fees.
  • Select: TRICARE Select is available for both active duty and non-active duty families. It allows coverage from any TRICARE-approved provider, whether they are out of network or not. A patient may have to pay for the healthcare services upfront.
  • Reserve Select: This plan is for members of the National Guard and Reserve. It’s similar to TRICARE Select, but the patient will need to file a claim if the provider they use is outside of the network. The costs will depend on who the patient sees, but typically providers inside the network are cheaper.
  • TRICARE for Life: Retired military service members and their family members enrolled in Medicare are eligible for this coverage. It’s secondary health insurance for those who are enrolled in Medicare Part A and B. The only costs they need to pay are the premiums that come with Medicare Part B.
  • Retired Reserve: There are a few requirements to be eligible for this plan. You must be a retired Reserve member, qualified for non-regular retirement, under the age of 60, and not enrolled in or eligible for the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program. Seeing a provider that is outside of the network means the co-pay will be higher. Any beneficiaries will pay a monthly premium, an annual deductible, and a percentage of the covered services.
  • Young Adult: This plan is for qualified adult children who aren’t eligible for other TRICARE plans anymore. They must be ages 21 to 26 and can enroll in Prime or Select. The costs of this plan vary on which enrollment option they choose, as well as the sponsor’s military status and where the patient gets their care from. It’s likely you’ll have to pay a monthly premium as well as the cost of services.

There are other plans within some of these categories, such as a TRICARE Prime Remote for those with a home or work address more than 50 miles away from a military clinic.

Help With Education, Loans, and Scholarships

Under the Military Spouse and Family Educational Assistance Programs, military families can find support with education and careers. 

Military spouses can get up to $4,000 for assistance with training or a degree program for a portable career. 

Military service members can also transfer their Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits to their spouse or children, meaning they can receive a variable amount of money to assist them with educational costs.

Veteran and Retirement Benefits

Both the federal government and a majority of states will provide programs that support veterans. 

These include home-loan guarantees, small business loans, healthcare (as previously mentioned), auto insurance and much more. 

Those who retire from the military with at least 20 years of service will get a monthly annuity for life. 

Retired military members can also be provided with job training to get them back into the civilian lifestyle.

Many businesses will provide military discounts for both active duty and veterans, as well as their family members.

Luke Williams writes and researches for the car insurance comparison site, His passions include insurance and helping active duty and former service members get the best insurance coverage.

Christopher Stern

Christopher Stern is a Washington-based reporter. Chris spent many years covering tech policy as a business reporter for renowned publications. He has extensive experience covering Congress, the Federal Communications Commission, and the Federal Trade Commissions. He is a graduate of Middlebury College. Email:[email protected]

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