Changes to the TRICARE Retiree Dental Program will take effect after Dec. 31, as the Defense Health Agency’s TRDP will come to an end. Eligible retirees and their families will be able to enroll in the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program during the Federal Benefits Open Season as there is no automatic enrollment available.
Retirees using the TRDP are covered until the end of December, which is when the program expires. According to Luis J. Alers-Dejesus, MCIEAST Retired Affairs officer. In order to prevent a gap in coverage, retirees must enroll in the FEDVIP
“From Nov. 12 through Dec. 10 (retirees) must choose which dental and vision program they want,” said Alers-Dejesus. “If they do not pick one they will have the current program until (Dec. 31) after which they will no longer be covered.”
Alers-Dejesus emphasized the importance of making note of this change to avoid any problems down the road as retirees and their families can only enroll during the open season and if they miss the deadline they will have to wait a year to enroll.
Eligible retirees and their families will be able to review available plans for 30 days starting this fall. The new coverage under FEDVIP will start Jan. 1, 2019. According to Alers-Dejesus.
The upcoming change, which will affect 1.63 million beneficiaries enrolled in TRDP, was announced by the DHA and the Department of Defense in a press release earlier this year. According to the release, an additional 1.3 million people, who are not currently enrolled in TRDP, are eligible.
“Retirees should contact their current health care provider and ensure that the plan they pick is accepted by the HCP if they wish to continue treatment,” said Alers-Dejesus.
Beneficiaries will have the ability to choose from the following dental plan carriers: Aetna Dental, Delta Dental, Dominion Dental, EmblemHealth, FEP BlueDental, GEHA, Humana, MetLife, Triple-S Salud and United Concordia Dental. Additionally, beneficiaries will be able to choose from the following vision plan carriers: Aetna Vision, FEP BlueVision, UnitedHealthcare Vision and Vision Service Plan.
FEDVIP enrollment, updates and cancellations should be done only through BENEFEDS, according to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, Retirement Operations. Please note that your retirement system will not notify BENEFEDS of any changes, so it is important that you do so directly.
Changes outside the open season can be made during a qualifying life event, such as the birth of child, divorce, marriage or death. Retirees wishing to cancel their FEDVIP must do so during the open season except for those who are deploying to active duty or transferring to an agency that offers a plan which pays 50 percent or more of the premiums.
For more information, call 1-877-888-3337 or visit TRICARE.benefeds.com.
Story by Ena Sellers.