This year's open enrollment season for military retirees to choose a dental plan under the FEDVIP program runs from Nov. 13, 2023, through midnight EST on Dec. 11, 2023, for coverage effective Jan. 1, 2024.
Retirees currently enrolled in a Federal Employee Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP) plan will automatically continue their current enrollment into 2024. Those wishing to cancel or change their dental plans in any way must make changes to their insurance during open enrollment.
With several dental carriers to choose from for 2024, how do you know which plan best fits your needs? Here are some factors to help you make the best choice.
All FEDVIP dental plans provide comprehensive dental coverage, including preventive services covered at 100% when you use an in-network provider. There are no deductibles when using in-network dentists. In addition, there is no waiting period for major services such as crowns, bridges, dentures and implants. Under most plans, there is no 12-month waiting period or age limit for orthodontic coverage, but some reimbursements may be limited during the first 12 months.
Anticipated Dental Services for the Upcoming Year
It is helpful to understand your specific dental needs in order to make an informed decision. FEDVIP offers standard and high-option plans.
If you know you will need major dental work, you might want a high-option plan that may cover more of the cost of major restorative procedures. If you need only preventive dental care, a standard plan may make more sense.
Also, look for limitations such as annual maximums or orthodontic lifetime maximums, to ensure you are not paying out of pocket after you've reached a plan's limit.
Finally, check whether the plan has any waiting periods that may be a barrier to receiving immediate dental care.
Access to Care
Verify that your dentist is part of your dental plan. If you're selecting a new dentist, review the plan's network to ensure the dentist's office is near your home or workplace. Most plans offer an online provider search. You also may want to confirm participation with the provider's office.
Other Value-Added Services
When choosing your dental plan, don't forget to look at other value-added services and discounts that may be available with your plan. For example, some plans offer discounts on teeth whitening procedures or invisible braces.
During open enrollment, it is important to compare the monthly premium for each plan. Oral health doesn't have to be expensive. Many insurance companies offer low-cost plans that entirely or mostly cover the costs for oral exams, cleanings, fillings and X-rays.
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