Tricare Dental Premiums to Increase Soon

tricare dental

Increases Slated for Tricare Dental Premiums

The Tricare Dental Plan (TDP) is a dental insurance opportunity offered to all branches of military. The dental benefit is regulated by United Concordia and is available to eligible active-duty family dependents, eligible National Guard and Reserves service members, and their family dependents. It is offered to both in the continental United States (CONUS) and overseas (OCONUS). However, beginning in May 2021, the premiums for Tricare Dental coverage will be increasing slightly. Service Members should start noticing the coverage increase during the May pay period. The increases will range from $0.05 to $0.47 depending on the Service member’s status and the number of dependents covered by the program.

Active-Duty Coverage

For dependents, whose Service Member is active duty, there are 2 levels of dental coverage.  The active-duty member is not included in the rates.

  • Single coverage is either for a spousal dependent or a single child
  • Family rates are for a spousal dependent and any number of children, or more than one child without a spouse

National Guard and Reserve in a Drilling status

For non-activated National Guard, selected reserve component (what most individuals visualize as “the reserves”), and mobilization Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) component, there are 4 levels of dental coverage.

  • The sponsor only provides coverage to the service member
  • Single coverage does not provide coverage to the service member but covers one family dependent: either a spouse or a child
  • Family coverage includes the spouse and all young dependents but does not cover the military member
  • Sponsor and family include the service member and their spouse and all children

Non-Mobilization IRR

For non-mobilization IRR, there are also 4 tiers of dental coverage.

  • The sponsor only provides coverage to the military member
  • Single coverage does not provide coverage to the service member but covers one family dependent: either a spouse or a child
  • Family coverage includes the spouse and all children but does not include the service member
  • Sponsor and family include both the military member and their spouse and all children

You may need to verify that your payment amounts are adjusted to the new rate

Individuals who receive Tricare Dental benefits and do not pay using the military payroll payment option need to verify that their payment amounts are adjusted to the new rate. If fees are not paid upon the due date, you could be disenrolled from the Tricare Dental program.

What happens if I’ve been disenrolled from the Tricare Dental program?

Once you have been disenrolled, you are ineligible to re-enroll for at least 12 months.

Who’s eligible?

To be eligible for enrollment into the TDP, your sponsor must have at least 12 months remaining on their military contract at the time of enrollment. Eligible family members include spouses and children until age 21 (or age 23 if full-time students). Therefore, you enroll for 12 months.

Cost-Sharing

In addition to monthly premiums, Tricare Dental Plan coverage offers cost-sharing for most of the service branches.  This ranges from from 0% to 50%.

Tricare Dental Maximum Payment Limits

There are also additional maximum payment limits of:

  • $1,300 per year per person for regular coverage
  • $1,200 per year per person for services related to accidents
  • $1,750 lifetime maximum limit per individual for orthodontic coverage benefits

Is Tricare Dental right for you?

For most families and situations, Tricare Dental Plan coverage is a great option. However, some individuals may find it more cost-effective to “self-insure” for dental expenses.  Individuals in the National Guard and reservists and retirees in particular may find “self-insuring” more cost-effective. The cost-benefit analysis for each situation needs to include:

  • family size
  • genetic dental disposition
  • personal dental habits
  • general dental health

There is obviously no one correct answer for every family.

How to Enroll

To enroll in the Tricare Dental Program, visit the Tricare enrollment page and register online. Unfortunately, if you are OCONUS, you cannot enroll online; see the instructions on the enrollment page for more information.

 

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About the author

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Justin Fisher is a currently serving with the Arkansas Army National Guard. His career has expanded two decades and has three deployments. He holds a Bachelor’s in Arts in Communications and hosts a weekly podcast featuring candid interviews with members of the military.