Just What Is Open Season and Why Should You Care?

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You may have heard about Open Season or Open Enrollment for your Tricare or Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP) coverage. But what exactly is it?

Open season (also known as open enrollment) is the time each year when you can make changes to your Tricare and FEDVIP dental and vision coverage for the following year. Federal employees can also make changes to their health insurance during this time period.

Open season runs every year from the Monday of the second full week in November to the Monday of the second full week in December. That means that this open season will run from Nov. 11 to Dec. 9, 2019.

What Can You Do During Open Season?

Tricare

This is only the second year that Tricare has offered an open season. Outside of this window, the only time you can make changes to your Tricare coverage is for a Qualifying Life Event. During open season, you can enroll in a new Tricare plan or change your coverage. Any changes you make to your Tricare coverage during open season will be effective for 2020.

Open season does not apply to Tricare Reserve Select, Tricare Retired Reserve, Tricare Young Adult, or Tricare For Life.

FEDVIP

Since this is only the second year that military members and retirees have been eligible for FEDVIP coverage, you may be a bit unsure about what you can do.

During open season, if you have coverage through FEDVIP, you can:

  • Enroll in a new vision or dental plan
  • Cancel your FEDVIP coverage
  • Switch to a new insurance company
  • Switch to a different level of coverage (standard or high)
  • Switch to a different family plan (self, self plus one or family)

As with Tricare, outside of open season, the only other time you can switch your coverage under FEDVIP is if you experience a Qualifying Life Event.

For 2020, FEDVIP offers 10 dental and four vision carriers to choose from.

Information about the 2020 vision and dental plans is now available online. You can research the costs and coverage of all the different plans, as well as compare the different levels of coverage available for your location.

Begin Researching Options Now

If you don't want to make any changes to your Tricare or FEDVIP coverage, you don't need to do anything. If you do nothing, your current coverage will stay in effect in the upcoming year.

However, it's still a good idea to check out all the available options in case the plan or your personal situation has changed over the past year, or you are anticipating changes to your coverage in the upcoming year.

For more details, check out Tricare's Open Season page or the FEDVIP Open Season Page.

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