TRICARE and You: Dental program

Whether you are active duty, dependent, reservist or retiree, you are eligible for one of the TRICARE Dental programs. But unlike the TRICARE medical program, which has an automatic enrollment as long as you are registered in DEERS, you must take steps to enroll in the TRICARE Dental Program to get dental coverage. If you don’t enroll and pay the premium you will not have dental coverage.

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This blog is the most recent in a series helping members of the Coast Guard family understand how to use their TRICARE benefits. The blog series will continue every Monday, right here on Coast Guard All Hands.

Written by Cmdr. Paul Fawcett

Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class Lindsey Peters conducts duties as a health services technician at the Coast Guard Baltimore Clinic.The health services technician (HS) provides necessary routine as well as emergency healthcare services and is assigned to a large Coast Guard clinic, small sickbay ashore, or on cutters. Services could include direct medical care for personnel and families; assisting medical and dental officers; performing diagnostic testing, x-rays, and clinical lab tests; prescribing medications; administering immunizations; performing minor surgical procedures, and much more. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Annie R. B. Elis.
Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class Lindsey Peters conducts duties as a health services technician at the Coast Guard Baltimore Clinic.The health services technician (HS) provides necessary routine as well as emergency healthcare services and is assigned to a large Coast Guard clinic, small sickbay ashore, or on cutters. Services could include direct medical care for personnel and families; assisting medical and dental officers; performing diagnostic testing, x-rays, and clinical lab tests; prescribing medications; administering immunizations; performing minor surgical procedures, and much more. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Annie R. B. Elis.

Whether you are active duty, dependent, reservist or retiree, you are eligible for one of the TRICARE dental programs. But unlike the TRICARE medical program, which has an automatic enrollment as long as you are registered in DEERS, you must take steps to enroll in the TRICARE Dental Program to get dental coverage. If you don’t enroll and pay the premium you will not have dental coverage.

What is the Dental Program for active duty members?

If you are assigned to a uniformed or contract dental officer at your Coast Guard or DoD treatment facility, that should be your primary source of dental care. If you aren’t assigned to a dental officer, you will be assigned to the Active Duty Dental Program, ADDP. The contractor for ADDP is United Concordia. Be sure to use a use a network dentist for care to ensure you don’t incur personal costs. Network dentists will submit the claim for you and you should have no out of pocket costs. Elective procedures are not covered by ADDP.

What Dental benefit is available for dependents?

The TRICARE Dental Program, TDP, is available for dependents of active duty members. Met Life is the contractor for TDP. The dental program covers exams, cleanings, X-rays, fillings and various procedures including gum surgery and oral surgery. This is not an all inclusive list. For the complete list visit the TRICARE website

You can enroll online or you can call 1-855-MET-TDP1 (1-855-638-8371).

If necessary, you can also find a networked dentist.

Monthly premiums, $11.68 for an individual and $34.68 per family, are currently required. There is no deductable for TDP for dependents of active duty members. Premiums may be paid though payroll deduction set up by the active duty member. There are coverage caps for various dental service types. You should review the TRICARE cost sheet for more information.

Is there a TRICARE Dental program for reservists?

Yes. Reserve members may enroll in the TRICARE Dental Program just as dependents of active duty members do. The same fee structures, benefits and rules apply.

And what about retirees?

The retiree contractor is Delta Dental. During the first 12 months of continuous enrollment the covered services are limited. After the initial 12 months, additional benefits are available. If you enroll within four months of retirement, no 12 month waiting period for full benefits applies. The retiree program includes single or family plans. Monthly premiums apply and vary by zip code. You can enroll online or by mailing a completed application to:

Delta Dental of California Federal Government Programs
P.O. Box 537008
Sacramento, CA 95853-7008

You can download the application and you can also find general plan information about the retiree dental plan at this site.

For more information about the various dental programs you can use the TRICARE Dental Options fact sheet.

Do you have questions about the TRICARE benefit? Send us an email SocialMedia@uscg.mil, and we will work to get your questions answered!

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