Disclosure: I am participating in a Membership campaign for MetLife FEDVIP Dental Plan. I am receiving a fee for posting; however, the opinions expressed in this post are my own. I am in no way affiliated with MetLife and do not earn a commission or percent of sales.
Currently, military retirees and their families have many choices for dental care. They can purchase a dental insurance plan through the military, take advantage of the benefits offered by a private employer, or pay for their dental costs directly. As the TRICARE Retiree Dental Program (TRDP) ends and military retirees become eligible for the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP), their dental choices will be even more substantial.
If you missed the notice, the TRDP is ending on December 31, 2018. For coverage effective 1 January 2019, military retirees and families will be eligible to purchase any of the dental plans offered through the FEDVIP program.
With this change comes new enrollment rules – you will no longer be able to opt in and out of the program at any time. Changes to FEDVIP coverage are only allowed during the annual Federal Benefits Open Season each fall, and if you have a FEDVIP qualifying life event that would necessitate a change in coverage.
You’ll have to enroll in the FEDVIP program during the open season this fall if you want to have dental coverage through FEDVIP in 2019. The 2018 open season will run from Monday, November 12, 2018, to Monday, December 10, 2018 (ET), and during this time, you will make selections for your coverage during 2019.
FEDVIP has a wide variety of plans from which to choose. Each plan has a different cost and provides different benefits. So you’ll have to do some reading and thinking to find out which plan might be right for you.
If you are working after military retirement, you may have the opportunity to purchase a dental plan with your private employer picking up a portion of the dental costs. For those who want dental insurance, you will want to carefully compare the costs and benefits of any private employer-sponsored plan with the cost of other options, including the plans offered through FEDVIP. If your employer is heavily subsidizing dental insurance purchase through work, then it might be a great choice for you instead of FEDVIP.
Plans Offered Through The FEDVIP Program
For most retirees, the two hardest parts about the switch from the TRDP to the FEDVIP program will be the new open season model and choosing between the many FEDVIP options.
Depending on your zip code, you may have more than a dozen plans to choose from. Each plan has a different premium and has different coverages, deductibles, co-pays, and plan maximums. Importantly for those transitioning from the TRDP to the FEDVIP plan, some FEDVIP plans have a waiting period for orthodontia, though some plans are making exceptions for those moving directly from the TRDP.
MetLife’s FEDVIP Options
MetLife offers two plans through the FEDVIP program, with two tiers of benefits to meet the needs of military retirees switching from the TRDP program.
Both plans offer:
- Child and adult orthodontic coverage
- No waiting period
- No cost-share on preventative services such as cleanings and exams
- No deductible for in-network services
- No out-of-pocket costs for in-network cleanings, X-rays and exams
- Higher annual and lifetime plan maximums
- One of the nation’s largest networks, with over 393,000 dentists nationwide
- Transition services: Any treatment started with TRDP will be covered by your MetLife plan option including root canal, crowns, bridgework, dentures, orthodontia services (except for adult orthodontic under the standard plan )
In addition, the HIGH option includes 70% coverage on orthodontics, with an incredible $5,000 total coverage on child orthodontics and $3,000 on adult orthodontics, plus no annual maximum benefit amount.
Which Dental Insurance Option Should You Choose?
There is no single right answer for everyone, and every person probably has a couple of choices that would be good for them. The most important thing is that you have to take action during the Federal Benefits Open Season if you want to have FEDVIP dental coverage in 2019. Get started researching your options now on Tricare.benefeds.com so you will be prepared to sign up when open season begins on November 12, 2018. Enroll in FEDVIP at BENEFEDS.com.