When the military ended the Tricare Retiree Dental Program in 2018, military retirees became eligible to pick a dental insurance provider through the Office of Personnel Management’s Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP).
What is FEDVIP?
FEDVIP is a voluntary, enrollee-pay-all insurance program. It is sponsored by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and offers eligible participants plan options and a choice between 12 dental insurance carriers.
Under FEDVIP you have a choice of carriers. Currently FEDVIP offers the following dental plans:
- Aetna Dental
- Delta Dental
- Blue Cross Blue Shield FEP Dental
- Dominion National (regional)
- EmblemHealth Dental (regional)
- FEP Blue Dental
- GEHA Connection Dental Federal
- Humana (regional)
- MetLife Federal Dental Plan
- Triple-S Salud (regional)
- United Concordia Dental
- UnitedHealthcare Dental
All plans are available worldwide unless indicated "regional" above.
All plans have varying levels of coverage -- most have a high and low option. The high option offers more coverage for a higher premium.
What Plan Types Does FEDVIP Offer?
Dental HMO plans include predictable, predetermined fees. They are designed for transparency for members and dentists, with specific copayments listed for each covered service. If you know what dental procedures you need to have completed, you will know how much you will pay for your dental care before you even go to the dentist.
A PPO plan covers procedures as a coinsurance percentage, and it might not be clear what your out-of-pocket costs will be. For example, a major service such as a crown may be covered at 50%. You will need to determine how much your dentist will charge you for that procedure under the contracted arrangement with the dental plan to figure out your actual cost.
What Are the Differences Between Standard and High Options?
It is helpful to understand your specific dental needs to make an informed decision. FEDVIP offers Standard and High Option plans. If you know you need major dental work done, you may want to explore a High Option plan that may cover more of the cost for major restorative procedures. If you need only preventive dental care, a Standard Option plan may make more sense.
Look for limitations such as annual maximums or lifetime maximums for orthodontia to ensure that you won't pay out of pocket after you've reached a plan's limit.
How much is the monthly premium? Make sure you pick a plan you can afford.
Will a FEDVIP Plan Limit Your Access to Care?
When comparing FEDVIP plans, look for any waiting periods that may be a barrier to receiving immediate care. For example, some plans have waiting periods for orthodontic work.
Check to see whether your dentist participates in the plan's network. If you have long-term loyalty with your dentist, you will want to confirm that your dentist is in the network.
When Can You Enroll or Change Your FEDVIP Coverage?
You can only begin or change your FEDVIP dental coverage during the open enrollment season, which normally runs from mid-November to mid-December every year.
You can begin, end or change your coverage at any time if you have a "qualifying life event," such as:
- Loss of other dental coverage
- Gaining a new family member
- Losing a family member
- Or other reasons
Your dependent children are covered until age 22. If you die, your family members can continue their coverage.
Who is Eligible for FEDVIP?
You are eligible to enroll in FEDVIP if you are:
- Entitled to military retired pay, including those age 65 and over.
- A member of the retired reserve/Guard, including a "gray-area" reservist who is entitled to retired pay but will not begin receiving it until age 60.
- A current spouse of an enrolled member.
- A child of an enrolled member, up to age 22, or older if disabled before losing eligibility.
- An un-remarried surviving spouse or eligible child of a deceased member who died while in retired status or while on active duty.
- A Medal of Honor recipient and eligible immediate family member, or an un-remarried surviving spouse/eligible immediate family member of a deceased recipient.
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