One great benefit of the Tricare dental program is its orthodontics coverage. I've seen a lot of questions about coverage lately, and I'm pretty sure that I've never written about it. So, here goes...
Who Is Eligible For Tricare Orthodontics Coverage?Tricare regular (non-retiree) orthodontia coverage is available to enrolled beneficiaries, including:
- students up to age 21 or 23, depending on school status, and
- spouses up to age 23, and
- reservists and National Guardsman up to age 23.
How Much Does Tricare Dental Cover For Orthodontia?Tricare Dental covers 50% of actual costs, up to a total lifetime benefit of $1750. The coverage will pay 50% of billed treatments until it reaches the lifetime cap.
How Can You Reduce Your Costs?There are a couple of things you can do to decrease your orthodontic costs.
First, be sure to shop around for the right treatment plan and price for your family. You would be amazed at the difference in price between several providers, even within the same small town.
Second, enquire about discounts for paying in full, if you are sure that you will remain in the same location for the duration of the treatment. On the other hand, if you suspect that you will move during treatment, inquire about doing the process in phases.
Third, if your family member's treatment plan requires surgeries or other dental procedures, check to see if your local Military Treatment Facility (MTF) can accommodate you on a space-available basis. In some locations, the local MTF will evaluate your case and see if they can fit you into their treatment schedule.
Fourth, investigate dental schools in your area. Student dentists, supervised by instructors, provide the care at a greatly reduced rate.
Fifth, ask for a military discount!
Sixth, consider whether additional insurance coverage would be cost effective for your family. This might include insurance through the non-military spouse or insurance available through private companies.
Rules for Tricare Dental for Retiree are slightly different. Those using retiree dental coverage should investigate the rules for that plan.
Tricare dental for active duty families offers outstanding dental coverage for very affordable prices. The orthodontics coverage can help offset the cost of an otherwise expensive project.