Military retirees together with their families will now be able to enroll in the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program between 12th November and 10th December. The retirees now have new options for dental and vision coverage which will take effect starting January 1, 2019.
However, these changes are not automatic. This is why they have to take action to remain covered.
The Tricare Retiree Dental Program expires on 31st December and will be replaced by the FEDVIP (Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program). Most of the military retirees and their families who are already enrolled in Tricare are allowed to enroll in FEDVIP.
To get the message out, postcards have been sent out to the millions of retirees who are eligible for the coverage.
Active-duty military members can only sign up for vision coverage and not dental coverage. The vision coverage includes glasses, contacts, and routine eye checkup benefits. These members may still enroll in the Tricare Dental Program.
Currently, the only way to enroll in the FEDVIP or change coverage outside the enrollment period requires a qualifying life event such as marriage or retirement.
During the open season (12th Nov to 10th Dec), you can choose up to 10dental carriers, and four vision carries. Some dental carriers are limited to certain regions of the country while other dental carriers offer both national and international coverage.
While some carriers offer standard coverage, others offer premium plans. Members who need more costly dental procedures should consider getting the higher-cost coverage which might prove to be most effective cost-wise.
2019 rates and plan information for the dental and vision carriers will be made available from mid of next month.
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The troops, as well as their families, have shown signs of increasing dissatisfaction with Tricare. Kevin Dwyer, the Defense Health Agency spokesman, advised them to ensure that all their information is current in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS). The Defense Health Agency officials have sent out postcards to all military retirees who qualify to enroll in FEDVIP. Dwyer said that those who have not yet received postcards need to provide the correct mailing addresses.
The Tricare beneficiaries have been receiving postcards about the approaching deadlines that are related to dental and vision benefits. To take action, they should:
- Visit the FEDVIP site for military beneficiaries, which is operated by the Office of Personnel Management. Here they will get all the information that they might need to know about the program. You will get a rough idea of what the different carriers offer and how the system generally works.
- Go to the Tricare website and sign up for updates about the FEDVIP program. Some families are already seeking advice from their dentists on which plan is the best.
Karen Ruedisueli, the government relations deputy director for the National Military Family Association, says that there are some families that have already asked for advice from their dentists regarding which plan best suits them.