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OPM will soon begin offering vision and dental insurance to military families and retirees through the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP).  The initiative was directed by the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2017.  This is an exciting opportunity for OPM Healthcare and Insurance, and we are eager to welcome this new group! 

Many military retirees and their families currently use the TRICARE Retiree Dental Program (TRDP) which is ending on December 31, 2018.  For 2019, most TRICARE retirees and their families can enroll in FEDVIP for dental coverage, vision coverage, or both.  Also new for 2019--many active duty military families may enroll in FEDVIP vision coverage.  Military families and retirees who enroll in FEDVIP this fall will be able to choose from ten dental carriers and four vision carriers, selecting the plan that best meets their family’s needs. 

This will be the first year military families and retirees participate in the Federal Benefits Open Season, which runs November 12 through December 10, 2018.  To prepare, we’re inviting them to visit TRICARE.benefeds.com and learn more about FEDVIP.  The FEDVIP team will ensure that new information is posted to this site as soon as it becomes available, plus send reminders to those who register on the site.  As of April 21, over 20,000 individuals have already visited and signed up for updates. 

As a military retiree myself, choosing a dental plan through FEDVIP was a novel experience when I first joined OPM.  Under TRICARE, we had one dental plan option available to us.  When I was offered a choice of multiple dental options under FEDVIP, I learned to compare plans based on the dental care I expected during the year ahead.  I also asked my dentist if he participated in any of the FEDVIP dental networks.  Because I don’t usually need complex dental work, I was able to choose a lower cost option with a dental carrier preferred by my dentist.  I elected a “self only” enrollment in a plan, but if I had a family, I would have covered them too, using a “self and family” enrollment in the plan that best met our collective needs.

I have had a great experience as a FEDVIP dental enrollee for several years now.  In fact, the more than 3.3 million Federal civilian employees who are already enrolled in FEDVIP give it high marks for quality and value.  This year, we look forward to providing Federal employees, annuitants, and their families with the dependable FEDVIP benefits they rely on, and to welcoming military families and retirees for the first time.   

To prepare for open season, TRICARE eligibles can head to TRICARE.benefeds.com to do their plan choice research with information designed to make their experience with FEDVIP as easy as possible to navigate.  Federal civilians will continue to use their familiar Benefeds enrollment website.  Plan options, benefits, and rates will be the same for both groups in 2019.

Let me close by reminding everyone of a few key dates:

  • Fall 2018:  2019 FEDVIP plan rates are available
  • November 12–December 10, 2018:  Federal Benefits Open Season
  • December 31, 2018: TRICARE Retiree Dental Program ends
  • January 1, 2019: 2019 FEDVIP plan year begins

Thank you—we appreciate the opportunity to serve you through FEDVIP!


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