3 Important New Benefit Changes for Military Retirees

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Are you on “autopilot” when it comes to your retirement benefits? If so, it’s time to take control.

Changes are coming to your benefits in 2019. And you stand to lose quite a bit if you don’t act. Here’s a quick reference to these changes:

1. Your Dental Options just increased by 1,000% - At the end of this year, the U.S. Department of Defense’s TRICARE Retiree Dental Program will end. Gone are the days of just one dental insurance choice. You now have 10! Military retirees and their dependents will be eligible for coverage under the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP) — the program offered to other federal employees.1 You must pick a plan during the 2018 open enrollment period known as the Federal Benefits Open Season to have dental coverage in 2019.2 Be sure to shop around, because there are a number of new, comprehensive options available, like MetLife’s Federal Dental Plan. Be sure to enroll between November 12 and December 10, 2018, so you don’t lose your dental coverage. Research plans now at benefeds.com/military.

2. TRICARE Changes Reminder – The new TRICARE Select3 has replaced TRICARE Standard4,5 and TRICARE Extra,6 both stateside and overseas. TRICARE Select will be a self-managed, preferred provider network option. You will not be required to have a primary care manager (PCM). So, you can visit any TRICARE-authorized provider. There are two types of TRICARE-authorized providers: Network and Non-Network for services covered by TRICARE without a referral.

3. TRICARE Regions Combined – TRICARE North and South regions combined to form TRICARE East, while TRICARE West remained mostly unchanged.7 Two new contractors, Humana Military and Health Net Federal Services are administering these regions. This change was to allow better coordination between civilian health care providers and the military hospitals and clinics in each region.

To make the most of your 2019 retiree benefits, plan ahead and keep these three important changes in mind. Select your plan during the open enrollment period, and remember you can visit any authorized TRICARE provider without a referral.


  1. https://www.benefeds.com/
  2. https://benefeds.com/military
  3. https://tricare.mil/select
  4. https://www.military.com/benefits/tricare/standard/tricare-standard-overview.html
  5. https://www.military.com/benefits/tricare/standard/tricare-standard-coverage.html
  6. https://www.military.com/benefits/tricare/extra/tricare-extra-overview.html
  7. https://www.tricare.mil/About/Regions
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