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The U.S. Navy automatically pays service members a higher basic pay if they’re married. There are several reasons why being married in the Navy -- or being married to someone in the Navy -- can be more beneficial than not being legally bound to another person. For example, married members of the Navy may grant power of attorney to their spouses while away on active duty. This action allows the spouse at home to handle business on the service member’s behalf, like filing taxes and managing bank accounts.
Once married, service members can obtain a Family Service Members’ Group Life Insurance policy of between $10,000 and $100,000 for their spouse. Spouses can enroll in the Military Spouse Preference Program, which grants them preferential employment placement in civilian positions for the Department of Defense. Additionally, spouses and dependents receive DoD IDs, which grants them authority to receive Uniformed Services privileges. For example, they can access military post exchanges where they can purchase brand-name products, often at a lower price, without sales tax.
Under certain circumstances, service members whose families can’t live with or near them at permanent duty stations receive a Family Separation Allowance. Eligible reasons for the separation include service members deployed on ships or away from their station for temporary duty for more than 30 days at a time, or because the relocation costs aren’t covered at the government’s expense. According to the DoD Defense Finance and Accounting Service, the allowance was $250 per month, as of April 2014.
Spouses of service members can be added onto Tricare, which is the military’s health insurance plan. Tricare covers a portion of costs depending on the plan families are enrolled in. It includes basics such as ambulance services, hospitalization, outpatient treatments, physical exams, diagnostic tests and dental care. It also includes a portion of coverage for maternity and infant care, prostheses, contagious diseases, and conditions including surgical, medical, mental, nervous and chronic. Additionally, outpatient visits to military clinics and hospitals are completely covered.
Navy members and their families have access to the Fleet and Family Support Center, which provides numerous programs that assist military families. The FFSC offers services like individual and family counseling, emergency transportation in disaster situations, legal assistance, financial management assistance, education loans for family members and relocation help. One of its programs, the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, provides financial assistance for families with eligible needs, such as the cost of establishing a household.
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