TRICARE Dental Plan Overview

Family dental

The TRICARE Dental Program (TDP) was implemented on Feb. 1, 2001. The TDP is a voluntary dental insurance program that is available to eligible Active Duty family members, Select Reserve and Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) members, and their eligible family members. Retirees and their eligible family members can enroll in the TRICARE Retiree Dental Program (TRDP) which is a premium based program (see TRICARE Retiree Dental Program fact sheet or visit www.trdp.org).

On May 1, 2012, TRICARE changed the TRICARE Dental Program coverage from United Concordia to MetLife. Click here to learn more.

The following is a summary of the program:

TDP Dental Coverage:

  • The TDP provides 100 percent coverage for diagnostic, emergency, and preventive services, with the exception of sealants. Sealants are covered at the 80 percent level with a 20 percent cost share paid by the beneficiary.
  • The TDP also covers the following services with a member cost share: fillings, root canals, crowns, extractions, orthodontics, periodontics, among other services.
  • The benefit package includes general anesthesia coverage at a cost share when provided in connection with a covered benefit. Dentists or other professional providers must be licensed and approved to provide anesthesia in the state where the service is rendered.
  • Maximum annual benefit coverage is $1,200 for all routine dental care.
  • The maximum lifetime orthodontic benefit coverage is $1,500.
  • Enlisted members in pay grades E-1 to E-4 have reduced cost shares for certain procedures.
The TRICARE dental plan also includes dental implants and related prosthetics, extended restorative services to teeth affected by attrition, erosion, abrasion, and congenital or developmental defects.

Information on enrollment is online by clicking here, or by calling toll-free (855)638-8371.

Complete benefits and cost share percentages are available here.

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TDP Eligibility:

Family members of all active duty uniformed services members, Select Reserve (SELRES) and Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) members and/or their families may enroll in the TDP. Sponsors must have at least 12 months remaining of their service commitments at the time they or their families enroll. The 12-month enrollment commitment is waived for families of Reservists called to active duty for certain contingency operations if they apply for TDP within 30 days of entry on active duty.

Eligibility is determined based on the service member's military personnel information residing in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS). The uniformed services personnel office reports the information to DEERS.

Active duty personnel are not eligible for the TDP. They receive dental care from military dental treatment facilities. Reservists who are ordered to active duty for a period of more than 30 consecutive days have the same dental coverage as active duty service members.

Former spouses, parents, parents-in-law, disabled veterans, foreign military personnel and Uniformed Services retirees and their families are not eligible for the TDP.

TDP Enrollment:

TRICARE has partnered with the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company (MetLife) for enrollment, claims processing, and customer service for the TRICARE Dental Program. Enrollment/Change applications are available by calling MetLife at 1-855-638-8371. Online enrollment is available here.

The enrollment application must be received no later than the 20th day of the month for coverage to begin on the first day of the next month. If the application is received after the 20th day of the month, coverage may not begin until the first day of the second month. Incorrect eligibility information in DEERS will cause applications to be denied.

Once enrolled, members must stay in the TDP for at least 12 months (with certain exceptions, such as loss of DEERS eligibility because of divorce, marriage of a child, etc.). After 12 months, enrollment continues on a month-to-month basis. Disenrollment must be initiated by the sponsor.

The first month's premium is due upon enrollment. The premium amount is shown on the enrollment form. After the first month, monthly premiums may be paid by payroll allotment or, in some cases, may be billed directly to the member.

There are two plans available through the TDP, a single plan and a family plan. New enrollees must continue in the TDP for at least 12 months (lock-in period). Anyone failing to pay premiums or who disenrolls for other than a valid disenrollment reason will be prohibited from re-enrolling in the program for 12 months (lock-out period).

Under the single plan, one eligible member is covered. This can be one active duty family member, a Selected Reserve or IRR member, or one Selected Reserve or IRR family member.

A family enrollment consists of two or more covered family members, either active duty, Selected Reserve or IRR. Under the TDP, however, all eligible family members of a sponsor must be enrolled if any are enrolled. There are exceptions:

  • Children under 4 may be voluntarily enrolled. Upon their 4th birthday, they are automatically enrolled, and the sponsor will be notified of the enrollment.
  • If a sponsor has family members living in two or more geographically separated locations, he or she may enroll only those family members residing in one location. (Examples: a child at college or children living with a divorced spouse.)
  • In cases where an active duty family member has a medical, physical handicap, or mental condition that requires a hospital or special treatment environment for dental care otherwise covered by the TDP, this family member can be excluded from TDP coverage and can continue to receive treatment from a military treatment facility. (Documentation must be provided.)
  • Selected Reserve and IRR sponsors can enroll independently of their family members, and family members can enroll independently of the sponsor.

Two servicemembers cannot enroll the same family members. Additionally, if both the husband and the wife are service members, they cannot enroll each other in the plan.

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Costs to the Beneficiary

TDP monthly premiums differ based the service status of the sponsor (active-duty, selected reserve (SR), or individual ready reserve (IRR)) and the number of eligible family members. These premiums are subject to change each year. Visit http://www.trdp.org/retirees/premiums.html to view the most current premium rates.

TDP Survivor Benefit:

When a military sponsor dies while on active duty or active Guard and Reserve orders for a period of more than 30 days, surviving family members enrolled in the TDP will continue to receive TDP benefits for three years from the month following the sponsor's death. This TDP survivor benefit also applies to enrolled family members of Select Reserve and Individual Ready Reserve (early mobilization only) sponsors who die while in Selected Reserve and Individual Ready Reserve (early mobilization only) status, regardless of whether the sponsor was on active duty orders or enrolled in the TDP at the time of his/her death.

Under this survivor program, the government will pay 100 percent of the premium for three years from the month following the sponsor's death.

The requirement to be enrolled in the TDP at the time of the sponsor's death is waived in certain limited circumstances where the surviving family was previously enrolled in the TDP, but disenrolled due to transfer to a duty station where dental care was provided to the member's eligible family members under a program other than the TDP.

At the time of death, the sponsor (and the enrolled family members) will be disenrolled and the TDP contractor will notify the survivors of this disenrollment and the terms of the TDP survivor benefit. The contractor will re-enroll the previously enrolled family members under the terms of the TDP survivor benefit and will bill the government for 100 percent of the TDP premium. Contractual lock-in and lock-out provisions are not applicable to the TDP survivor benefit. The contractor tracks the three year TDP survivor benefit period and disenrolls the family members accordingly. Prior to disenrollment, the contractor will notify the family members of coverage termination. Once the three year TDP survivor benefit ends, family members may be eligible for the TRDP, administered by Delta Dental.

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Getting More Information and Assistance:

For more information about the TDP, beneficiaries may access the benefit handbook online here or by calling toll-free 1-855-638-8371.

Members residing outside the continental U.S. (OCONUS) should call 1-855-638-8372 (toll-free).

For all contact information, please click here.

TRICARE has many other programs including TRICARE for Life, TRICARE Retiree Dental, etc... For more information see our TRICARE section, or click on the links below to learn more about:

If you aren't sure whether TRICARE covers a service or supply, contact your Beneficiary Counseling and Assistance Coordinator (BCAC), TRICARE Support Center (TSC), or your TRICARE contractor. They can advise you about covered services, but they can't guarantee payment by TRICARE. If you're enrolled in TRICARE Prime, be sure to see your Primary Care Manger (PCM) for a referral before getting any type of civilian specialized medical care.

The applicable Federal laws and 32 CFR Part 199 are the final word on any TRICARE issue. If any difference exists among this handbook, what anybody tells you, and the law and regulation, it's the law and regulation that apply (32 CFR 199 is on the Military Health System/TRICARE website at www.tricare.mil.

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TRICARE Important Telephone Numbers

  • TRICARE For Life Program 1-866-773-0404
  • Pharmacy Program 1-877-363-1303
  • US Family Health Plan 1-800-748-7347
  • TRICARE Dental Program 1-855-638-8371
  • TRICARE Active Duty Dental Plan 1-866-984-2337
  • TRICARE Retiree Dental Program 1-888-838-8737
  • Active Duty Claims (Military Medical Support Office) 1-888-647-6676

For general information about TRICARE, call one of the many toll-free TRICARE information lines found at the TRICARE Contact Us web page.

You can call Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m.-11:00 p.m., Saturday 9:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m. and Sunday 10:00 a.m.-5:30 p.m. (closed on holidays).

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