Not sure if you have dental coverage? Did you enroll in a dental plan? Your TRICARE dental and medical benefits are separate benefits. To gain coverage, you need to enroll in a dental plan and health care plan separately.
“Some beneficiaries think that they automatically have dental coverage when they’re enrolled in a TRICARE health plan,” said Douglas Elsesser with the TRICARE Dental Program at the Defense Health Agency. “That’s not the case. In reality, dental program enrollment isn’t related to health plan enrollment.”
Two Voluntary Dental Program Options
If you aren’t an active duty service member, you may be eligible for two different dental programs. They include:
- TRICARE Dental Program (TDP): The TDP is dental coverage for active duty family members (ADFMs), National Guard and Reserve members not on active duty, and National Guard and Reserve family members. You must enroll in the TDP for coverage. Also, the sponsor must have a minimum of one year left on his or her service contract.
- Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP): FEDVIP offers dental coverage for retired service members and their eligible family members. It also includes certain survivors. You must enroll in a FEDVIP dental plan for coverage.
To use TRICARE, you must be registered in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS). After you’re registered, you may enroll yourself and your eligible family members in TRICARE health and dental plans.
If you register in DEERS but don’t enroll in a dental program, like TDP, you won’t have dental coverage. If you get care and you don’t have TDP coverage, TRICARE will deny your claim.
“Oftentimes beneficiaries realize they aren’t enrolled after a claim is denied,” said Elsesser.
Enrolling in TDP
If you’re the sponsor or an individual with a valid power of attorney, you can enroll ADFMs in TDP. Although there are three ways to enroll in TDP, enrolling online will speed up your enrollment.
- Log in to milConnect and click on the “Benefits” tab.
- Click on “Beneficiary Web Enrollment (BWE)” under the “Benefits” tab.
- Select the “Dental” tab.
- Stateside: 1-844-653-4061
- Overseas: 1-844-653-4060
- Download the TRICARE Dental Program Enrollment/Change Authorization Form.
- Submit the completed TDP form and your first premium payment (check, money order, or credit card authorization) to:
TRICARE Dental Program
P.O. Box 645547
Pittsburgh, PA 15264-5253
As outlined in the TRICARE Dental Program Handbook, your date of TDP coverage depends on the date United Concordia receives your request. If the TDP contractor processes your TDP enrollment:
- By the 20th of the month, your coverage starts on the first day of the next month
- After the 20th of the month, your coverage starts on the first day of the second month
For information on how to enroll in a FEDVIP dental plan, visit the FEDVIP enrollment website.
Take command of your health and dental benefit by taking action to enroll in a plan. Remember that dental coverage isn’t automatic. It’s always a good idea to check your coverage before getting care.