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News

Tricare retiree dental program leaving Delta Dental, moving to federal plan

  • ADA News
This is a must read if you have patients who are retired from the military and using the Tricare dental plan.
The Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program will replace the Tricare Retiree Dental Program later this year.

Participants may begin enrolling in the federal program Nov. 12 through Dec. 10 for coverage that starts Jan. 1, 2019.

Delta Dental previously administered the program. The move from Delta Dental to a federal plan resulted from  the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act, which mandated giving military retirees access to a vision plan that was not previously available to them in Tricare.

Under the new plan, retired uniformed service members and their families who are eligible for the Tricare Retiree Dental Program will be eligible to enroll in dental coverage under the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program. 

The federal plan will give enrollees the option of choosing from six national plans: Aetna Dental, Delta Dental, FEP BlueDental, GEHA, MetLife and United Concordia Dental, and four regional plans: Dominion Dental, EmblemHealth, Humana and Triple-S Salud. 

For dentists who receive questions from patients, Delta Dental is urging them to have patients select a FEDVIP dental plan in order to continue their dental benefits. The switch is not automatic: Patients must sign up during the open enrollment period.

Tricare is also encouraging patients to use its online comparison tool for figuring out which plan works best for them. The comparison tool can be found here. By entering specific ZIP codes, patients will receive estimates on what to expect from coverage costs.

"Many dental offices may be treating patients who are retired from the military and using the Tricare dental plan," said Dr. Steven Snyder, chair, ADA Council on Dental Benefit Programs. "Following enrollment in the Federal Employee Dental and Vision Insurance Plan, their benefits may be significantly different. Offices should have a conversation about the patients' needs and their new benefits along with explaining the office's financial policies. Experiences that offices have with the national carriers already participating in the federal plan may give them a sense of what to expect in terms of processing policies and documentation requirements for claims for these patients."

For more information, including enrollment tips and scheduled webinars on enrollment, visit the Tricare page here.
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