Tricare open season for enrollment changes is from Nov. 14 – Dec. 13, 2022.
Tricare Prime and Tricare Select members must review their healthcare options to ensure they have the best plan for their needs. Since 2019, members can only switch plans during open enrollment or upon a qualifying life event.
Members of the Tricare Dental and Vision plans must also review their options. Membership eligibility for some military members or retirees is transitioning to the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP.)
Here’s what you need to know about Tricare enrollment in 2022.
Table of Contents
- What Is Open Season, and What Does It Mean for Military Members and Military Retirees?
- When Is Open Enrollment, and What Do I Need to Do?
- What Are Qualifying Life Events?
- When and How Can I Change My Health Care Plan?
- Where Can I Get More Information?
What Is Open Season, and What Does It Mean for Military Members and Military Retirees?
Open season, or open enrollment, is the time of year when participants can change their healthcare plans.
Tricare participants can change their healthcare selection once per year unless they experience a qualifying life event, such as a new job, job loss, marriage, or divorce. Open enrollment helps healthcare providers reduce costs by maintaining consistent enrollment throughout the year. It also reduces the associated costs of people changing plans at will.
Current Tricare members need to be aware of two open enrollment seasons, Tricare Open Season and the Federal Benefits Open Season.
Tricare Open Season
Tricare open season is from Nov. 14 to Dec. 13, 2022. It applies to enrollment in a Tricare Prime or Tricare Select healthcare plan. It does not apply to other Tricare plans, such as:
- Tricare for Life
- Tricare Reserve Select
- Tricare Retired Reserve
- Tricare Young Adult
- Continued Health Care Benefit Program
Federal Benefits Open Season
Federal benefits open season is also from Nov. 14 to Dec. 13, 2022. It applies to military members or retirees who purchase dental or vision care through the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP.)
FEDVIP Dental Program: The FEDVIP Dental program only applies to military retirees. (Tricare Dental is no longer available for military retirees as of 2019.) All other military members will continue to be eligible for the Tricare dental program.
Here’s some more information on the Military Retiree Dental Insurance program change.
FEDVIP Vision Program: The FEDVIP vision plan does not apply to active-duty military members.
When Is Open Enrollment, and What Do I Need to Do?
Tricare open season for enrollment changes is from Nov. 14 to Dec. 13, 2022. The FEDVIP program has the same open-enrollment dates.
During open enrollment, take time to review your current healthcare selection and ensure it still meets your needs.
You have three options:
- Do nothing. If you want to stay in your current Tricare healthcare plan, you don’t have to take any action. You’ll continue in your current health plan through 2023 or as long as you’re eligible.
- Enroll in a plan. If you’re eligible for a Tricare Prime option or Tricare Select but aren’t enrolled, you can enroll in a plan now.
- Change plans. If you’re already enrolled in a Tricare Prime option or Tricare Select, you can switch plans between individual and family enrollment.
You don’t need to take any action if you want to continue using your current plan. Your current enrollment should automatically roll over for next year.
Remember that you can’t change your healthcare plan outside the open season unless you experience a qualifying life event. Now is the time to enroll if you aren’t enrolled in a Tricare plan.
Finally, you can change plans if doing so is a better option for you and your family.
What Are Qualifying Life Events?
A qualifying life event (QLE) is a significant change in your life situation. QLEs allow you to enroll in or make changes to your healthcare plan outside the regular open enrollment season.
Each healthcare plan may have its own rules for qualifying life events. For example, Tricare gives you a 90-day window to make changes after each QLE, according to its website. You have a 60-day window to make changes to Affordable Care Act (ACA) Exchange healthcare plans, according to Healthcare.gov. Rules may also be different for federal healthcare plans, such as FEDVIP, FEHB, FSAFEDS or FEGLI.
A civilian employer plan may have different rules, so check your policy for more information.
Qualifying Life Events for Tricare
You can make changes to your Tricare plan within 90 days of a qualifying life event. However, other healthcare plans may have a smaller window to make changes.
Here’s a list of qualifying life events, according to the Tricare website.
Military-Related Qualifying Life Events:
- Activating or deactivating
- Being injured while on active duty
- Moving or permanent change of station
- Separating from active duty
Family-Related Qualifying Life Events:
- Getting married or divorced
- Having a baby or adopting
- Children going to college
- Children becoming adults
- Becoming Medicare-eligible
- Death in family
- Losing or gaining other health insurance
Qualifying Life Events for FEDVIP
The Benefeds.gov website has more information regarding qualifying life events for the FEDVIP healthcare plans.
The Benefeds website lists the following QLEs:
- Getting married
- Losing other dental or vision coverage
- Acquiring a family member
- Losing a family member
- Returning from leave without pay
- Returning from active duty
- Restoring annuity or compensation
- Returning to active duty
- Transferring positions
When and How Can I Change My Health Care Plan?
You can only change your Tricare plan during Tricare open season or when you have a qualifying life event. The option you choose will remain in place for the calendar year unless you opt to change it after a qualifying event.
You can change your Tricare enrollment in the following ways:
- Online: Enroll online at milConnect.
- Phone: Call your regional contractor
- Mail: Mail or fax your enrollment form to your regional provider.
You will be required to pay any enrollment costs at the time of enrollment.
The Tricare website has this helpful chart to help you determine when you can make changes to your Tricare healthcare or FEDVIP healthcare plan:
|Military Status||I want to change my Tricare plan||I want to enroll in a FEDVIP vision plan||I want to enroll in a FEDVIP dental plan|
|Active-duty service member||You can only change plans if you’re retiring.|
At retirement, coverage ends.
|You do not qualify to purchase a FEDVIP vision plan. You will continue to get care as you do now.||You do not qualify to purchase a FEDVIP dental plan. You will continue to get care as you do now.
|Active-duty family member*|
*Not including adult children enrolled in Tricare Young Adult
|You can change plans during the Tricare open season.||You must enroll during the Federal Benefits open season.||You do not qualify to purchase a FEDVIP dental plan. You can get your dental care through the Tricare Dental Program.|
|Reserve Component member or family member enrolled in Reserve Select||No action needed. This doesn’t apply to you.||You must enroll during the Federal Benefits open season.||You do not qualify to purchase a FEDVIP dental plan. You can get your dental care through the Tricare Dental Program.|
|Retired service member or family member enrolled in Tricare Prime, Tricare Select||You can change plans during the Tricare open season.||You must enroll during the Federal Benefits open season.||TRDP ended on Dec. 31, 2018.
You must enroll in a FEDVIP dental plan during the Federal Benefits open season to maintain coverage.
|Retired service member or family member using Tricare for Life||No action needed. This doesn’t apply to you.||You must enroll during Federal Benefits open season.||TRDP ended on Dec. 31, 2018.
You must enroll in a FEDVIP dental plan during the Federal Benefits open season to maintain coverage.
Where Can I Get More Information?
Healthcare benefits frequently change. This is true for Tricare, FEDVIP, civilian healthcare plans and plans you may get through an employer. Our site can’t track all changes for all plans. So please consider this article to be informational only.
Check with your healthcare provider for more information, or review Tricare’s current open season FAQs online.
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Mikeal Eberhard says
You know…….I have retired in the Republic of Panama with my wife, doing so in 2006. I did my homework before we made the move, calling both Tricare and the hospital in Panama that provided service to Tricare recipients. I was told that coverage was available for both hospitals and doctors and they would even submit our claims. I might add that Tricare was not forthcoming with very much info and only after prodding said Tricare wa accepted and they had quite a few retirees using services in Panama.
Upon arrival, we found that the VFW and Tricare were hosting a conference for retirees, which included FMP. They went through the claim procedure an warned against wholesale fraud that that occurred a few years back. They explained they had visited various providers and told them they could not charge what they wanted but had to at least earn their fee.
Fast forward a few years, Tricare came out with a fee schedule that not only was a fraction of what reasonable charges were but caused the providers totally reject Tricare patients. We wrote, called and even talked to Tricare on their periodic visits to no avail. They “stonewalled” our complaints continued with the “secret”as to what motivated there reasons for “third world” reimbursement. The only info that we received was reimbursement was initially based on charges in Puerto Rico along with other factors. The last Tricare visit to Panama was well attended as expectations were high for a change to reasonable reimbursement but as one veterans remarked, “nothing has change.” Many of us just left as our time and attention were wasted. It is hard to believe that we can go to well trained professionals and well equipped hospitals that refuse to take us as patients. These doctors know what is reimbursed in Miami and they understand the extent of Medicare/Medicaid fraud in South Florida and know that only a fraction of the abusers are held accountable while they are allowed $28 for a physcian visit and hospitals charge thousands of dollars for a simple emergency room visit. Panama did in fact have a fraud issue, well befor the 12 years ago when I arrived, and it seems as if we the veterans are receiving the punishment for that issue. As a former retired active duty medical person and a hospital administrator in the State of Florida, I can vouch for the fact that Tricare recipients in Panama are not being treated fairly and thus are receiving services far less than our dedicated service deserves. (just kmy 2 cents worth)
Charlie Borges says
I have Tricare for life and want to make sure I am signed up for vision care for my wife. who do I call for this information?