You may not be aware that there are only certain times you can make changes to your FEDVIP or Tricare plan and coverage. These times usually correspond to life events or changes in your situation or family, they are known as "Qualifying Life Events" (QLEs).
Depending on your eligibility, a QLE may let you enroll in a new insurance plan or change your coverage.
If you want to enroll in or change your plan, you must make the enrollment changes within 90 days following the QLE and pay any enrollment fees or premiums that may be due for the new plan during those 90 days.
If you make the changes within the 90 day window your coverage will become effective on the date of the QLE. If one member of your family has a QLE, all eligible family members may change their enrollment status during the QLE period.
What is a Qualifying Life Event for Tricare?
For both Tricare and FEDVIP the following are the only things that count as QLEs. As such, these are the only times you can make changes to your coverage outside of open season:
- Activating or deactivating for reserve & guard service
- Deploying or mobilizing
- Being injured on active duty
- Getting married
- Having a baby or adopting a child
- Children going to college
- Children becoming adults
- Death in family
- Getting other insurance
- Becoming eligible for medicare
- Separating from the military
Special Qualifying Life Events for FEDVIP
If you recently retired from the military, you are now newly eligible to enroll in FEDVIP dental coverage, and if enrolled in a Tricare health plan, FEDVIP vision coverage, but retirement is not considered a QLE.
You are considered newly eligible for the program and have 60 days from the date you became eligible to enroll in a FEDVIP dental and/or vision plan. If you miss your 60-day enrollment period, then you must wait until the next open season.
If you are already retired from the uniformed services and you are now leaving or retiring from private sector employment, you are able to enroll in FEDVIP if you experienced a FEDVIP qualifying life event (QLE). For instance, if you lost insurance as part of leaving the private sector, then you are eligible to enroll in FEDVIP within 31 days prior to and 60 days after the date of the QLE. However, if you are only canceling insurance with your employer but it is still available to you, then you must wait until the next open season to enroll.
How to Make Changes to Your Coverage Due to a Qualifying Life Event
In most cases you need to update DEERS first before you contact Tricare to make the change. For example, if you try to add a new child to Tricare before the child is listed in DEERS it won't work.
In most cases you need to provide official documents to update DEERS (birth certificate, marriage certificate, proof of college attendance, etc.). Depending on the TRICARE plan you have, and the area you live in there may be further requirements.
If you experience a QLE that allows you to enroll, log into your BENEFEDS account and select "Enroll" for dental or vision coverage on your dashboard. The website will ask for your QLE type and the date of the event as part of the enrollment process.
If you experience a QLE that allows you to change your existing coverage, log into your My BENEFEDS account and select "Plan Overview" for your dental or vision coverage on your dashboard. Then select "Submit QLE."
If you experience a QLE that allows you to cancel your coverage, you must call BENEFEDS Customer Service.
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