Does Tricare Cover Dental? – Overview
Anyone who is currently serving or has served in the US armed forces is entitled to military dental insurance. Tricare dental plans offer an affordable way to receive dental care for service personnel and their families.
As these are government-sponsored programs and are offered by selected providers, you will not need to browse for better alternatives. Still, many beneficiaries have questions regarding dental coverage with Tricare.
This article details the type of Tricare dental coverage that military members and their spouses and children are entitled to.
Tricare Military Dental Benefits
Tricare, the federally operated health insurance program for members of the US Uniformed Services, provides extensive health and dental coverage to beneficiaries, including the member’s dependents. Tricare dental coverage differs from Tricare medical plans, so you should not assume that as you have Tricare medical cover, you will also receive Tricare dental benefits.
The Tricare health program is part of the DOD’s Defense Military Health System and is currently offered in three different types:
- Tricare Active Duty Dental Program (ADDP) – This dental insurance cover is for active duty members only.
- Tricare Dental Program (TDP) – This dental health plan is for family members (spouse and children) of active duty military members, selected reserve and IRR personnel, and their dependents.
- Tricare Retiree Dental Program (TRDP) – This dental insurance plan is for retired military personnel and their dependents.
Now that you know the different types of Tricare dental plans, let’s check out some of the benefits of Tricare dental coverage.
Benefits of Tricare Dental
Active and retired military personnel and their families can have dental coverage from another health insurance provider, such as employer-sponsored or private health insurance. However, it is always advisable to compare new offerings with current plans.
However, you may end up choosing Tricare dental coverage for its preferential features, such as:
- No annual deductible
- Monthly payments
- No waiting periods
- Affordable premium rates (60% discount for select enrollees)
- Allowance for dentures, implants, and braces
- Two cleanings and two checkups per year
The TRDP plan for retired military members offers a few different benefits. However, unlike conventional dental coverage, you will not be refused coverage because of your age or medical history or for any pre-existing medical condition.
The Tricare Dental Program (TDP) is designed for non-active and active duty members and their families. Besides this, active duty members of the US Uniformed Services receive additional dental coverage under ADDP.
Tricare Dental Program allows enrollees to make fixed monthly payments for a year. Metlife administers TDP insurance, but United Concordia has recently taken over the contract.
TDP is a kind of PPO plan wherein enrollees receive fixed discounts on treatments at TDP network dentists. Additionally, enrollees can also visit out-of-network dentists, but the out-of-pocket expenses for such visits are usually higher. TDP benefits also depend on the enrollee’s service area and pay grade.
All amounts are subject to an annual maximum benefit of US$ 1,500 per person. Besides this, the coverage also allows around US$ 1,200 annual maximum per person for dental accident coverage, and also around US$ 1,750-lifetime limit for orthodontics.
Tricare’s Retiree Dental Program (TRDP) provides extensive dental insurance coverage to retired military personnel. Delta Dental has been responsible for providing dental healthcare services to enrollees of TRDP since 2012 and currently insures over 1.5 million retirees from the US Uniformed Services.
Under this plan, retired military personnel of any age can receive affordable dental care in the US and worldwide. This includes a variety of dental treatments, including emergency and accidental cover, along with braces, dental implants, and dentures. Besides this, they can also enroll their spouses and children (under 21 years) into their TRDP policy.
If you are on a pension, your monthly premium will be directly debited. Else, you can arrange for an alternative payment method.
Why Should You Get Tricare Dental Coverage?
The decision to enroll in the Tricare dental plan will mostly depend on the extent and frequency of dental care you need for you and your family.
TDP insurance plans cover a significantly higher percentage of dental costs for most basic and complex procedures compared to commercial private insurance plans. Premiums for the Tricare dental plans are substantially affordable, especially if you qualify for the 60% discount.
Regardless if you want to save on dental insurance or look for effective dental coverage, you will need to enroll in the Tricare insurance program if you are an active or retired member of any of the US Uniformed Services. This is an excellent, affordable, and efficient way to ensure that you and your dependents have sufficient dental care coverage, whether stationed in the US or anywhere.
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