Changes to TRICARE dental and vision are coming. Are you ready?


(Photo: Unsplash, Yingpis Kalayom)

On December 31, 2018 the current TRICARE Retiree Dental Program (TRDP) will end. Retirees and their family members will be given the option to select a dental plan through the Federal Employee Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP). Vision plans will also be available through this new program and not just for retirees and their families. The lack of DoD-sponsored vision coverage for active duty members and their families will soon be a thing of the past. 

Until now this program was only available to Federal and USPostal Service (USPS) employees, retirees, and their eligible family members. However, the program has now expanded to include military retirees and their families.

How will these changes affect me?

No changes will take effect in 2018. Beginning in November you will need to opt into the new FEDVIP plan. This program offers choice. In addition to the Delta Dental, current administrator of the TRDP, you and your family will be able to pick from a database of 10 nationwide and regional dental carriers and four vision carriers. The good news: you will have more choices, better flexibility and premium options. FEDVIP premiums will be deducted from TRICARE enrollees’ post-tax pay.* Retirees will have the option to select both dental and vision, only one, or neither. The choice is yours.

For active duty members and their families, dental will remain the same but they will be able to opt into the vision plan under the FEDVIP plan. This new availability of a vision plan will hep military families save money. The option to choose between carriers for retirees and active duty members provides the freedom to shop around, saving money and increasing options. You will have the opportunity to choose the coverage that is right for you.

FEDVIP dental plans

Here is a sneak peak at the dental and vision carriers under the FEDVIP plan beginning January of 2019.

  • Aetna Dental
  • Delta Dental
  • Dominion Dental
  • EmblemHealth
  • FEP BlueDental
  • GEHA
  • Humana
  • MetLife
  • Triple-S Salud
  • United Concordia Dental

FEDVIP vision plans

  • Aetna Vision
  • FEP BlueVision
  • UnitedHealthcare Vision
  • Vision Service Plan

I suggest doing a quick search of the reviews left on Consumer Affairs regarding the dental and vision plan you would be using.  As for how the change from TRDP to FEDVIP will impact each of us, time will tell. I am hopeful that the expanded options and ability to choose will create ease in use.

What are the deadlines?

To avoid having a gap in your coverage there are a few dates you need to know:

November 12, 2018 – Beginning in November of 2018, you will be able to enroll in the new FEDVIP plan during “open season.” You will have the opportunity to sign up from November 12 to December 10. While opportunities are available to make qualifying life event changes outside of open season, this is your window to register so make sure to mark it on your calendar now.

December 10, 2018 – This is your last day to enroll in FEDVIP.

December 31, 2018 –  TRDP will expire on Dec. 31, 2018. You must self-enroll with FEDVIP prior to this date in order to receive continued dental coverage as you will not be automatically enrolled in the new plan.

January 1, 2019 – Once enrolled your full FEDVIP coverage will begin on January 1, 2019.

To stay up-to-date on the changes bookmark and visit trdp.org and Tricare.mil. More information will be posted as the enrollment date approaches.

By Hope Griffin

*This article has been corrected from an earlier version regarding the information on premium payments.

19 Comments

  1. Service is no longer honored with these programs. How much more are these programs going to cost? Who knows 😩. My spouse and I are disabled with very serious conditions and need to take medication everyday now paying higher rates. I just paid over $600.00 for dental care and counting. The dental insurance now is not in support of retirees, and families so what now?

  2. I wonder what the difference in cost will be between each provider… I am glad for the extra choices!! Being stuck with just Delta Dental has been frustrating.

  3. This is good. No Military personnel or family member should go without vision or Dental. We have paid a mighty price.

    1. Exactly. It’s worse for disabled veterans who are medically discharged, you don’t recieve any dental coverage unless you have a VA rating for dental issues. And your family doesn’t get any coverage for anything.

  4. Hi,
    I think delegating a big responsibility like this will affect a lot of providers that don’t accept Eyemed and the above vision plans, and the providers inside all military bases who accept Eyemed and other insurances negatively,, because of the reimbursement rate compares to Tricare ,, specially with the reimbursement rate of eyemed, these providers pay top dollars for employees and third party billing and management and with this rate they will go bankrupt. I totally disagree.
    Hope other providers inside west coast bases agree with my openion

  5. Kind of screws retirees that are now federal employees. I have two dental plans due to two kids in braces, tricare retiree dental and FEDVIP. Since you can only have one FEDVIP plan, I lose the retiree plan at the end of the year.

    1. Stop crying at least you have a cushy job getting 2 pay checks and probably get dissability also. For those of us that are retired and 100% disabled you think we have a second choice for our family no we dont. Government employees are the biggestscam burdon on our government. I am glad President Trump is making it easier to fire the no loads collecting a check and stopping auto pay raises.

  6. Does this mean you loss all your waiting period time unless you stick with Delta? It was a year wait for braces for my son.

  7. With the expansion of the dental an vision options will we be able to carry our kids over the age of 21 on our plan?

  8. My husband recently retired…24 years. We carried 2 dental plans so had credit at dentist. VA pays his dental and we have CIGNA . How will any of these changes benefit us?

  9. When will the new rates be posted for retirees registering for FEDVIP?
    The sooner the better, especially if the rates are dramatically different from Tricare Dental. This way people can start planning and budgeting, as I’m sure it won’t be cheaper. We have nice choppers, but even the annual checkups need to be considered and unforeseen events happen.

  10. Is this for just active duty and retirees or does this apply to those with Tricare for Life (those retirees on Medicare and Tricare)?

  11. When I first joined retirees could go to the local base and get all their dental and vision needs taken care of. Seems once we retire we are just trash tossed to the side.

  12. I would check with any current companies that offer supplements for Tricare to see if they will have supplements for vision and dental. We like Mediplus through MOAA.

  13. Oh yeah Choices! But what’s your the cost differences? Humana already jacked up our copays for retirees. Most retired folks are on fixed budgets, I don’t see how the inflation is helpful. What’s the ranges of cost?

  14. Is this just the next step in converting retired military medical coverage over to federal health benefit plans????

  15. Delta Dental for retirees is worthless. Nearly all services are considered downgrades to them so they pay nearly nothing. I’ve found that not having insurance is cheaper than having Delta so it cannot get any worse.

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