This article is sponsored by Aetna.
For military retirees and their families, December 31st this year will be more than New Year’s Eve, it will be the end of their dental coverage through the TRICARE Retiree Dental Program, and a new opportunity to sign up for new vision coverage. With Congress authorizing that retired military can enroll in the Federal Employee Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP), there will be more choices for coverage, but also a new system to learn.
The most important aspect of the change is that there is no automatic enrollment into FEDVIP. Military retirees who need dental coverage can choose a new dental plan this year during the Federal Benefits Open Season which runs from November 12 to December 10, 2018. Or they must go without coverage until the next open season. In addition, Retired Uniformed Service Members and their family members who are enrolled in a TRICARE health plan are eligible for vision coverage for the first time.
Once the deadline for enrollment occurs on December 10, you can only enroll and/or make changes to your plan if you experience a “qualifying life event” which could be a move, birth of a child or a new job.
“We’re honored to be one of the plans available to the military community as part of this transition from TRDP to FEDVIP and look forward to helping retirees and families find the best plans for them this November” said Tom Bernatavitz, Vice President of Federal Plans at Aetna.
Dental plans in the program offer quality services and an array of options to fit the needs of the military retiree and their family. The Aetna Dental® PPO plan includes coverage to see any licensed dentist for preventive, minor, and major services, and there is no deductible. For retirees or those with children needing orthodontia, the plan provides coverage including Invisalign and there is no waiting period to begin or continue services if you are already in orthodontia treatment. Military retirees who choose the plan will get access to the member site to locate a new provider, understand costs and submit and manage any claims.
So how do you make the decision? Do some research, and by October 2018 all rates and benefits information will be public, allowing plenty of time to consider the options and determine the best course of action before the December 10th open enrollment deadline.
For those needing vision coverage, Aetna is also one of four FEDVIP vision carrier options. Aetna offers both a standard and a high option and each features coverage for eye exams, prescription eyeglasses and contacts and the benefits are applied no matter where you choose to shop.
The Aetna plan also makes it easy to use well known providers like LensCrafters, Pearle Vision, and Target Optical, all of which are in-network retail providers. For those who like to order online, Glasses.com and Contactsdirect.com are also featured in-network providers. The plan also offers deep discounts on additional glasses and any overage on the frame allowance, plus LASIK discounts.
One crucial piece of information about the vision plan is that retirees must be enrolled in the TRICARE health plan to enroll in a FEDVIP vision plan. The same time frame and deadlines applied to the dental plan, apply for the vision plan as well but are two separate enrollments, so retirees and their families need to know choosing one does not mean choosing both.
The change from TRICARE to FEDVIP may be overwhelming at first, but with a little research and a focus on the new opportunities available, users will find they have many options for both their dental and vision plan needs.
Sponsored: Learn more about Aetna’s offerings.