How Can Checkbook's Guide to Dental and Vision Plans for Military Retirees Help Me?

The Guide contains detailed comparison information on all FEDVIP dental plans, showing which ones save both military and civilian retirees the most money by considering both premium and out-of-pocket costs. No other tool provides such information. These are "insurance value" comparisons that consider the costs of low, average, or high cost dental usage. There are separate ratings for self only, self-plus-one, and larger families.

The Guide presents not just monetary comparisons, but also in-depth advice on which plan choice strategies are likely to work best for families in different situations or facing unique access problems. For example, it emphasizes that for retirees with a dentist they want to keep, it is vital to ask the dentist which dental plan networks he or she participates in. Much of the savings under these plans is based on using network dentists who provide discounts to their patients in those plans. This is important for specialized high-cost services such as orthodontics or dental surgery.

The Guide also compares vision plans, providing detailed summary information on the benefits of the eight plan options becoming available to military retirees and the families of active duty military, but not to uniformed. These plans offer a wide range of participating optometrists and vision providers, including most large chains, as well as a broad range of eyewear lens and frame options.

The new dental plans offer considerably better benefits than the discontinued TRICARE Retiree Dental Plan. For example, most of them have no deductible and have benefits limits far higher than under the discontinued plan.

In total, about 1.7 million retirees and family members will be newly eligible for these dental and vision plans, and more than 7 million households of active duty uniformed service members will be newly eligible for these vision plans. (The active duty uniformed service members themselves will continue to get dental and vision coverage through TRICARE at military health care facilities, and their family members will remain eligible to enroll in the TRICARE Dental Program.)