TRICARE Dental Program

TRICARE offers three dental programs for service members and military families: the TRICARE Dental Program, the TRICARE Retiree Dental Program, and the TRICARE Active Duty Dental Program. The dental programs offer coverage to active duty service members and their families, Guard and Reserve members (activated or not) and their families, retirees and their families, and surviving spouses and their children.

The TRICARE Dental Program (TDP) is a voluntary, premium-based dental insurance program. TDP covers family members of active duty service members, family members of National Guard and Reserve members, National Guard and Reserve members who are not on active duty or covered by the Transitional Assistance Management Program (TAMP), transitional survivor, and surviving child. The sponsor must have at least 12 months remaining on his or her military service commitment at the time of enrollment. TDP offers single and family plans and provides coverage worldwide.

The TDP is administered by Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, Inc. (MetLife). As the TRICARE Dental Program contractor, MetLife provides enrollment, processes claims, builds and maintains the dental network, and provides customer service.

TDP covers 100 percent for most preventive and diagnostic services (exams, cleanings, fluorides, sealants, and x-rays). It also covers basic restorative services, root canals, periodontics, oral surgery, crowns and dentures, orthodontics, and scaling and deep cleaning.

In May 2012, the TDP benefit was enhanced to include the following:

  • Increase in the annual maximum to $1,300
  • Increase in the lifetime orthodontic maximum to $1,750
  • Coverage of posterior resin (white) fillings on back teeth
  • Additional $1,200 maximum per year for services related to accidents/injuries
  • No cost shares for some periodontal services for diabetics
  • Coverage of an additional cleaning for women during pregnancy
  • First-year premiums below current rates

Monthly TDP premiums are based on the sponsor’s military status (active duty, selected reserve, or individual ready reserve (IRR)) and the type of enrollment (sponsor only, single enrollment without sponsor, family enrollment without sponsor, and sponsor and family). Premiums are paid ahead, which means beneficiaries pay in one month for the following month of coverage. Premium rates are in effect for one year from February 1 – January 31 the following year. Effective February 1, 2013, TDP monthly premium rates will change. Therefore, beneficiaries will begin to pay the 2013 new monthly premium rates in January 2013.

Ongoing recurring monthly premiums must be established when enrolling.This can be done two ways. An active duty service member can sign up for an automatic payroll deduction. The premium will then be transferred to MetLife. (It is important to note National Guard and Reserve members cannot use the military payroll deduction.) Another way is by electronic funds transfer (EFT) from the beneficiary’s checking/savings account or by a credit/debit card. Active duty, National Guard, and Reserve member can use this method. Failure to pay the monthly premiums will result in a termination of your coverage and the beneficiary will NOT be able to re-enroll for one year (12 months).

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