Paycheck Chronicles

Vision Insurance for Military Families

Family dental

Frustrated by the lack of vision coverage, and sometimes limiting and expensive dental coverage?  You're in luck!

The 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (way back in December 2016) contained an often-overlooked provision that paves the way for active duty and retired military families to purchase the vision and dental coverage that is offered through the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP.) Active duty families will be able to purchase vision insurance only and will remain in the current Tricare Dental Program. The current retiree dental plan will be closed, and retired families will be eligible to purchase both vision and dental through FEDVIP.

Key details to know:

  • Enrollment will be available during annual open seasons and after a qualifying life event.
  • Initial sign-up with begin in November 2018.
  • Coverage will begin 1 January 2019.
  • A variety of plans will be available for both dental and vision coverage. Costs and coverage are based upon plan and location.
  • Premiums should be pre-tax, further reducing the net cost of the coverage.

Military family members often incur significant out-of-pocket expenses due to the lack of DoD-sponsored vision coverage, the limited coverage options in the active duty Tricare Dental Program, and the sometimes high cost of retiree dental coverage. The availability of visions coverage, and the option to pick your dental plan, may save military families a lot of money.

My family currently spends about $6,000 a year on out-of-pocket vision and dental expenses. The ability to choose the right coverage for our needs, and pay for it pre-tax, should create a significant savings for us. I hope it does the same for you!

If you would like to be kept up-to-date on information about these programs, sign up for the email notifications from Tricare. The website, www.Tricare.benefeds.com, should be active on 1 February 2018. I'm really excited about this change, and I can't wait until it gets started!

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