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Tricare Dental Premiums to Drop May 1

Capt. Adrienne Rembert, DDS conducts an oral screening for Reilli Wade, an Arnn Elementary first-grader, Feb. 20, during a preventative health visit for National Children's Dental Awareness Month. (U.S. Army / Candateshia Pafford)
Capt. Adrienne Rembert, DDS conducts an oral screening for Reilli Wade, an Arnn Elementary first-grader, Feb. 20, during a preventative health visit for National Children's Dental Awareness Month. (U.S. Army / Candateshia Pafford)

Monthly Tricare dental premiums for active-duty families as well as National Guard and Reserve members and their families will drop across all categories May 1 -- in some cases more than $15 -- as the program is taken over by United Concordia as part of a new management contract.

Military retirees are not affected by the change.

Monthly premiums for active-duty families will drop from $11.68 a month to $11.10 a month for a single dependent user and from $34.68 to $28.87 for two or more dependents. Active-duty troops do not use the Tricare dental plan, according to information posted to Tricare's website.

For activated Guard and Reserve members, premiums will drop from $11.68 to $11.10 for coverage of the service member only; from $29.19 to $27.76 for a single dependent; from $87.59 to $72.18 for two or more dependents; and from $99.27 to $83.28 for the service member and family, the chart says.

For inactive Guard and Reserve members, premiums will drop from $29.19 to $27.76 for the service member only or a single dependent only; from $87.59 to $72.18 for two or more dependents; and from $116.78 to $99.94 for service member and family, the chart says.

The changes push premiums below 2015 levels across all categories, while moving all the family and family-plus-sponsor rates to about $9 below 2014 rates.

Tricare's dental program will move from MetLife to United Concordia on May 1, ushering in several benefit improvements and a renewed focus on education and prevention, Tricare's dental chief said Monday in an exclusive interview with Military.com.

Among the expansions included in the new contract is an increase to the annual maximum benefit from $1,300 to $1,500 and a change that makes sealants free instead of carrying a 20 percent co-pay, Army Col. James Honey said in the interview.

Additionally, children in families who have purchased the dental program and who are enrolled in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System will automatically be added to their families' plans when they turn 1-year-old. Currently, children are automatically added at age four.

"The Tricare Dental Program continues to offer uniformed service members and their families a robust dental option," said Kevin Dwyer, a Tricare spokesman. "Starting May 1, beneficiaries will receive an improved Tricare Dental Program at a lower cost."

Enrollment in Tricare's dental coverage is not automatic. Instead, troops and families must sign up for coverage by enrolling online or calling the Tricare dental contractor.

-- Amy Bushatz can be reached at amy.bushatz@military.com.

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Headlines Military Benefits Family and Spouse TRICARE Dentists Amy Bushatz

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