TRICARE Dental & Vision Plan Changes

By Katie Lange, Department of Defense

A lot of TRICARE recipients who AREN’T actively serving may want to enroll in vision and dental coverage through the Federal Employee Dental and Vision Insurance Program, known as FEDVIP. Currently, more than 3.3 million federal employees already use it. It’s never been available to Defense Department beneficiaries before, but now it is!

Capt. Austin Ladner, 99th Dental Squadron dentist, conducts an oral cancer screening during Retiree Appreciation Day at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jason Couillard

Dental eligibility:

If you’re an active-duty service member, an active-duty family member or you’re in the Guard or Reserve, your TRICARE dental plans will stay the same.

But if you’re enrolled in the TRICARE Retiree Dental Program, things are going to change. TRDP is going away at the end of 2018, so if you want to continue coverage, you must enroll in a FEDVIP dental plan. There is no rollover, so make sure you enroll during open season!

The good news: there are 10 dental carriers from which to choose.

“What we realized is that people have different types of dental needs,” said Navy Vice Adm. (Dr.) Raquel Bono, director of the Defense Health Agency. “Younger beneficiaries probably need to make sure that they have the kind of care that’s preventative. In teen years, there are probably different demands, and certainly, as we get more distinguished and more mature, there are some additional needs.”

Maj. Brett Ringger, an optometrist from the Texas Air National Guard’s 136th Medical Group, tests his patient’s vision June 19, 2018, at one of four health-care clinics in Eastern Kentucky. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Lynn Means

Vision eligibility:

If you’re enrolled in a TRICARE health plan and you’re NOT an active-duty service member, you’re also eligible to enroll in one of four FEDVIP vision plans. Sorry, TRICARE Young Adult enrollees – like active-duty service members, you’re not eligible for this.

FEDVIP Enrollment:

Like the rest of your benefits, your open season for enrollment in FEDVIP will be Nov. 12 to Dec. 10. Coverage will begin on Jan. 1, 2019. Much like TRICARE Prime and Select plans, the only time you can get coverage under FEDVIP outside of open enrollment is if you experience a qualifying life event.

Still trying to figure this out? Visit for more information and to sign up for email notifications that will update you on eligibility, rates and more. You can check out their frequently asked questions section here. The 2019 plans and rates are now available so you can compare and decide which plan best meets the needs of you and your family.

READ MORE: Part 1: What to Know Before TRICARE Open Season This Fall
Part 2: TRICARE Open Season: Picking a Plan for 2019
Part 3: What’s New With Your TRICARE Coverage in 2019

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