Changes to TRICARE dental and vision are coming. Are you ready?
(Photo: Unsplash, Yingpis Kalayom)

On December 31, 2018 the current TRICARE Retiree Dental Program (TRDP) will end. Retirees and their family members will be given the option to select a dental plan through the Federal Employee Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP). Vision plans will also be available through this new program and not just for retirees and their families. The lack of DoD-sponsored vision coverage for active duty members and their families will soon be a thing of the past. 

Until now this program was only available to Federal and USPostal Service (USPS) employees, retirees, and their eligible family members. However, the program has now expanded to include military retirees and their families.

How will these changes affect me?

No changes will take effect in 2018. Beginning in November you will need to opt into the new FEDVIP plan. This program offers choice. In addition to the Delta Dental, current administrator of the TRDP, you and your family will be able to pick from a database of 10 nationwide and regional dental carriers and four vision carriers. The good news: you will have more choices, better flexibility and premium options. FEDVIP premiums will be deducted from TRICARE enrollees’ post-tax pay.* Retirees will have the option to select both dental and vision, only one, or neither. The choice is yours.

For active duty members and their families, dental will remain the same but they will be able to opt into the vision plan under the FEDVIP plan. This new availability of a vision plan will hep military families save money. The option to choose between carriers for retirees and active duty members provides the freedom to shop around, saving money and increasing options. You will have the opportunity to choose the coverage that is right for you.

FEDVIP dental plans

Here is a sneak peak at the dental and vision carriers under the FEDVIP plan beginning January of 2019.

  • Aetna Dental
  • Delta Dental
  • Dominion Dental
  • EmblemHealth
  • FEP BlueDental
  • GEHA
  • Humana
  • MetLife
  • Triple-S Salud
  • United Concordia Dental

FEDVIP vision plans

  • Aetna Vision
  • FEP BlueVision
  • UnitedHealthcare Vision
  • Vision Service Plan

I suggest doing a quick search of the reviews left on Consumer Affairs regarding the dental and vision plan you would be using.  As for how the change from TRDP to FEDVIP will impact each of us, time will tell. I am hopeful that the expanded options and ability to choose will create ease in use.

What are the deadlines?

To avoid having a gap in your coverage there are a few dates you need to know:

November 12, 2018 – Beginning in November of 2018, you will be able to enroll in the new FEDVIP plan during “open season.” You will have the opportunity to sign up from November 12 to December 10. While opportunities are available to make qualifying life event changes outside of open season, this is your window to register so make sure to mark it on your calendar now.

December 10, 2018 – This is your last day to enroll in FEDVIP.

December 31, 2018 –  TRDP will expire on Dec. 31, 2018. You must self-enroll with FEDVIP prior to this date in order to receive continued dental coverage as you will not be automatically enrolled in the new plan.

January 1, 2019 – Once enrolled your full FEDVIP coverage will begin on January 1, 2019.

To stay up-to-date on the changes bookmark and visit and More information will be posted as the enrollment date approaches.

By Hope Griffin

*This article has been corrected from an earlier version regarding the information on premium payments.