By Sarah Peachey

Last year, Military One Click broke the news that United Concordia had won the TRICARE Dental Program contract. The article linked to a press release on United Concordia’s website that said the contract would officially take effect February 1, 2017. But no other information has been forthcoming since then, so you may be wondering what’s going on.

You haven’t received any benefits packages, brochures, or other information related to United Concordia’s coverage because the government extended MetLife’s contract through April 30, 2017, according to Sharon Duke, the Director of Government Affairs at United Concordia.

When does United Concordia take over?

Dentist from Flickr via Wylio
© 2007 Herry Lawford, Flickr | CC-BY | via Wylio

United Concordia begins the TDP administration on May 1, 2017. If you are currently enrolled in TDP and have been using MetLife’s coverage, you should have a seamless transfer of enrollment and shouldn’t have to do anything. Be sure you’re currently enrolled in TDP.

What do we know about coverage?

Dentist from Flickr via Wylio
© 2009 Steve Snodgrass, Flickr | CC-BY | via Wylio

Information is coming, but so far, we don’t know much. Keep an eye on your mailboxes in February. TDP will be sending all current enrollees a communication noting the change in contractors. United Concordia will follow up with another communication (Duke said  this would take the form of either an email or a postcard) to provide further details. United Concordia will launch its TDP website on Feb. 13.

The United Concordia Benefit Booklet will be posted to the website in an online form only. There will be no printed version available. The booklet is still in development and will be added to the website as soon as it’s completed. Duke said it probably won’t make the Feb. 13 web launch but will be available prior to the May 1 contract start date.

“The website will not only include the Benefit Booklet, but will also contain other useful program information, to include new benefits and features,” Duke said.

What do I need to do during the transition?

Dan at the dentist from Flickr via Wylio
© 2008 Jeremy Miles, Flickr | CC-BY-SA | via Wylio

Some family members are concerned with the transition, wondering about interrupted care for extended procedures or orthodontics. According to Duke, there should be no interruption of care. To ensure a seamless transition, check with your current dental provider and find out if they are a part of United Concordia’s network. You can also use United Concordia’s “Find-a-Dentist” application for CONUS providers on the website beginning Feb. 13.

What if my provider isn’t listed as a part of the United Concordia network?

bite-plate1 from Flickr via Wylio
© 2005 Spring Dew, Flickr | CC-BY | via Wylio

If your doctor isn’t part of their network, you can still receive care from your dentist. Instead, you would pay the difference between the dentist’s charge and United Concordia’s allowance in addition to any cost-shares that apply to all enrollees. You could also nominate your dentist for inclusion within the United Concordia network.

But I live overseas. What about me?

Globes from Flickr via Wylio
© 2008 ricardo, Flickr | CC-BY | via Wylio

Things are a little different in overseas locations. Duke said, “We are currently recruiting TRICARE OCONUS Preferred Dentists (TOPD) for our OCONUS enrollees; however, OCONUS enrollees are under no obligation to use a TOPD. They may find it more convenient to do so since TOPDs agree to not require up-front payment for services and they’ll file claims for the enrollee. United Concordia’s online TOPD ‘Find-a-Dentist’ application will be available on the website prior to contract start.”

Anything else I should know?

Question mark sign from Flickr via Wylio
© 2008 Colin Kinner, Flickr | CC-BY | via Wylio

For now, we wait. United Concordia cannot share much information until the web launch and, even then, their information may be limited until they officially take over TDP. More information is coming out, and Military One Click will keep you updated as we get it. Stay tuned . . .