TRICARE Is Having First Open Season. What Does That Mean For You?

What does TRICARE’s first Open Season mean for the Federal Workforce and the military?

Well, first, it doesn’t have anything to do with hunting. Let’s just get that out there. Open season for insurance benefits is a time when you are able to change your health care coverage, such as change plans or switch between individual and family coverage. Outside of the open season, you are only allowed to make changes with a qualifying life event, such as marriage, divorce, birth, or adoption.

TRICARE’s open season runs from November 12 – December 10, 2018, so now is the time to decide if you need to take action. Let’s look at who it applies to and what choices are available.

If you are an active duty service member without any family members enrolled, you can go read some of our other helpful articles. Otherwise, you need to read on.

Active duty family members, except for those enrolled in TRICARE Young Adult, and retired service members enrolled in TRICARE Select and TRICARE Prime need to consider their medical plan options. You have a choice between TRICARE Select and TRICARE Prime. In general terms, Select is a managed care option that has a lower cost but you have fewer choices of providers, while Prime is more expensive, but you have a wider choice of providers and don’t need referrals to see a specialist. You can see a side-by-side comparison of the plans here.

Whether you change medical plans or not, pay attention to this – you need to select new dental and vision plans. Dental and vision coverage is now coming from FEDVIP, the Federal Employee Dental and Vision Insurance Program. This will give you numerous plan options to (hopefully) better fit your preferences and life circumstances. You will now have a choice between ten different dental plans and four vision plans. Explore the plans and enroll here

TRICARE Participants Who Need to Select FEDVIP Dental and Vision Plans?

Status

VisionDental

Active Duty Family Member (unless enrolled in TRICARE Young Adult)

You must enroll during Federal Benefits Open Season.*You will continue to get your dental care through the TRICARE Dental Program.
Reserve Component Member of Family Member Enrolled in TRICARE Reserve SelectYou must enroll during Federal Benefits Open Season. *

You will continue to get your dental care through the TRICARE Dental Program.

Retired Service Member or Family Enrolled in TRICARE Prime, TRICARE Select, or TRICARE for LifeYou must enroll during Federal Benefits Open Season. *

You must enroll during Federal Benefits Open Season. *

*Federal Benefits Open Season also ends on December 10, 2018

If you are enrolled in TRICARE for Life, your medical plan is not affected. However, you do need to choose dental and vision plans. Make sure to choose an option and enroll before December 10, 2018.

This is a lot to digest and is new. Take time now to review and consider options. Everyone is different, and this change helps tailor options to you. But, choices take time. Start now. Learn more and enroll here

TRICARE Open Season

**Written by Wes Battle, Certified Financial Planner. The information has been obtained from sources considered reliable but we do not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete. Any opinions are those of Wes Battle and not necessarily those of RJFS or Raymond James. Links are being provided for information purposes only. Expressions of opinion are as of this date and are subject to change without notice. Raymond James is not affiliated with and does not endorse, authorize, or sponsor any of the listed websites or their respective sponsors.