The TRICARE Retiree Dental program is a retirement bonus that is administered by California’s Delta Dental Plan and is available to both uniformed service members and their families. In order to acquire this benefit, one is required to commit to a 24-month program that can then be annually renewed.
If you are a newly retired uniformed service member and you opt for the TRICARE Retiree Dental Program within 120 days after retirement from duty, then you are subject to a minimal waiting period of 12 months. After that time frame, you are entitled to the plan’s coverage and additional benefits. In addition, you are entitled to a 50% cost coverage of any major dental procedures involving dental care such as orthonodontics, crowns, dentures and bridges.
One advantage of utilizing the TRICARE Retiree Dental Program is that it is available through the 50 States, Washington, D. C., the U.S. territories of the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Canada, Guam, American Samoa, and the Common Wealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. In addition, the premiums that you pay vary depending on where you live whereas the bottom line costs remain the same in all of the 67,000 (approximately) participating providers licensed within the TRICARE Retiree Dental Program. You may also use any other licensed dentist that you opt for but you have to know that when you opt for those dentists, you will be required to immediately pay a non-network dentist fee and can later file the claim with Delta Dental to receive a reimbursement.
TRICARE is also flexible in that it can submit claims for you in case you visit any Delta Select USA dentist. In this case, you will only be responsible for a certain percentage of allowable TRICARE costs.
The annual maximum coverage provided by TRICARE is usually $1,200 per person and the annual deductable amount per person is usually $50. The benefit of getting this coverage is that the preventative and the diagnostic services are not deductable but instead are 100% covered. Any orthodontic services are treated separately and this category of dentistry has a maximum $1,200 coverage over a lifetime. TRICARE also has a separate annual dental accident coverage benefits up to $1,000.
You can reach the TRICARE Senior Pharmaceutical Program by calling 877-363-6337 or 877-DOD-MEDS.
Eligibility of the Retiree Dental Program
You are eligible to enroll for the TRICARE Retiree Dental Plan if you are:
- A member of the Retired Guard/Reserve like the “gray area reservists” and they are usually entitled to the pay when they reach the age of 60 years old
- A current spouse of any enrolled member
- Uniformed service members are entitled to the retired pay regardless of their age
- Any child of a member who is enrolled as a full-time student up to the age of 21 years and if the child is a full-time student, the child is entitled to the retirement benefit until they are23 years old
- A surviving spouse who is unmarried or any eligible child of the deceased member who was retired from active duty or died while on active duty
- A Medal Of Honor recipient is also eligible for this benefit and the immediate family members or a spouse who has not been remarried is also entitled to this benefit
- The immediate family member of a deceased recipient is also entitled to the TRICARE Retiree Dental Plan
You may also be eligible for coverage if you are a current spouse or an eligible child of non-enrolled members and you have documented proof that the non-enrolled member is:
- Enrolled in a dental plan through other employment that is not available to other family members
- Not in a position to receive the benefits due to current dental or medical condition
- Entitled to receive dental care from the United States Departments of Veterans Affairs