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The TRDP advises enrollees: “Don’t pay more than necessary for covered dental care”
The TRICARE Retiree Dental Plan (TRDP) has some tips to help enrollees make sure they don’t get caught paying more than they should for their covered dental care:
- Know your TRDP copayments, deductibles and maximums to help keep the program affordable and your out-of-pocket expenses in check.
- See a participating TRDP network dentist for maximum cost savings. Participating network dentists in over 150,000 locations nationwide have agreed in advance to provide covered treatment to TRDP patients at substantially reduced rates, prepare and submit all TRDP claims paperwork, and adhere to Delta Dental’s quality-of-care standards as well as provide other value-added services that may not be available from non-TRDP network dentists.
- A quick check of your EOB will provide assurance that you have been billed correctly for the services your dentist provided during your recent visit. Knowing your coverage ensures you are paying your correct share of the costs in applicable copayments and deductibles as required by the TRDP.
- Be wary of dentists who advertise “waiver of copayment” offers. This practice, also known as “overbilling,” is illegal and unethical--and could eventually increase the cost of the TRDP and other dental programs by as much as 40 percent.*
- If you need assistance with understanding your EOB, call Delta Dental’s TRDP Customer Service department at 888-838-8737 to speak directly to an agent. You may also use the automated telephone system or, if you have Internet access, visit the online Consumer Toolkit® at trdp.org to periodically check your benefit levels, copayments and deductibles.
* Statistic provided courtesy of Delta Dental of California Underwriting and Actuarial department staff, June 2006.
Notification of annual change in TRDP monthly premium rates
Monthly premium rates for enrollees in the TRICARE Retiree Dental Program (TRDP) are set to undergo a slight adjustment on October 1, as they are scheduled to do each year throughout the five-year contract period that began in 2008.
The amount of the annual monthly premium adjustment varies, depending on the regionally based rate and the enrollment option selected. Enrollees can check the website at trdp.org for their specific monthly regional premium amount or call 888-838-8737 for their rates.
All enrollees in the Enhanced-Overseas Program pay premium rates equivalent to Region C rates for the Enhanced Program; rates for the Overseas Program are adjusted each October 1 as well.
Visit trdp.org for comprehensive information about the TRICARE Retiree Dental Program
Current enrollees and Uniformed Services retirees who are interested in finding out more about the dental benefits available to them under the TRICARE Retiree Dental Program (TRDP) should pay a visit to the website dedicated specifically to the program, at trdp.org.
In addition to detailed benefits information, program costs, an expansive list of participating TRDP network dentists and a function that allows secure online enrollment, the website features the Consumer Toolkit® for looking up eligibility and claims information as well as an online Customer Service Inquiry form that allows you to get prompt answers to your questions via e-mail.
The site is continually updated, and Delta Dental of California encourages frequent visits to trdp.org for the latest information about the TRDP.
TRDP field representatives are available for pre-retirement briefings
Attention Retiree Activity Officers, Family Services Officers, Transition Assistance Program Managers and other beneficiary healthcare liaisons: Having a pre-retirement briefing? Let your TRICARE Retiree Dental Program (TRDP) regional marketing representative give a brief presentation on this unique, comprehensive dental benefits program for Uniformed Services retirees and their family members.
Complimentary enrollment materials and details about the special enrollment opportunity for new retirees are available for each of your active duty military personnel attending your briefings. For more information, please contact the TRDP marketing representative for your region from the list below:
Michelle Banks-Gainer - Southeast region & District of Columbia
Douglas Elsesser- Gulf region, Puerto Rico, & U.S. Virgin Islands
Tammy Hunter - North Central region
Lynn Jamroz - East Central region & Canada
Joe Montoya - West Central region
Steve Morgan - Pacific West region, Hawaii, Guam, American Samoa & Northern Mariana Islands
Doug Schobel - Northeast region & OCONUS
Participating TRDP network dentists provide enrollees with optimum cost savings and program value
To participate in the TRDP network, dentists must agree with Delta Dental in advance to accept reduced fees for treating TRDP patients, to prepare and submit all TRDP claims paperwork, and to provide other services that are designed to save TRDP enrollees as much time and money as possible. Participating TRDP network dentists are available in over 150,000 locations nationwide. Enrollees may obtain a list of participating TRDP network dentists online at trdp.org or by calling Delta Dental at 888-838-8737.
Although it is to a TRDP enrollee’s advantage to select a participating TRDP network dentist for treatment, Delta Dental Premier® dentists, who are considered non-TRDP network dentists, follow some of the same guidelines, such as acceptance of payment directly from Delta Dental, completion and submission TRDP claims-related paperwork, and adherence to the quality-of-care standards that are required of all Delta Dental dentists. However, unlike participating TRDP network dentists, Delta Dental Premier® dentists may charge higher fees, and enrollees are responsible for the difference between their fees and the amount that the TRDP will allow for the service.
The TRDP helps enrollees with another dental plan get maximum coverage by coordinating benefits of both programs
Even if you are a Uniformed Services retiree who is employed and has dental coverage through your employer, you can benefit by joining the TRICARE Retiree Dental Program (TRDP). Most dental carriers cooperate with one another to allow you to make use of both programs--sometimes paying 100 percent (but not more) of your dental bill.
It is to your advantage to let your dentist and Delta Dental know if you have other dental coverage so that you will receive all the benefits to which you are entitled. Ask your dentist to complete the other coverage portion of the claim form, or be sure to include complete information about your other coverage carrier if you are submitting your own claim.
The TRDP offers tips for choosing a dental plan that’s right for you and your family
What are some things that military retirees should look for when choosing a dental plan?
Affordability. Premiums for some dental plans may be lower than others. But consider other costs, like the fees the dentist can charge, before making a decision based on low premiums. Participating TRICARE Retiree Dental Program (TRDP) network dentists have agreed to accept the program's allowed fees as payment in full for covered services provided to enrollees in the program.
Value. Dental benefit plans like the TRDP that offer enrollees a comprehensive scope of treatment and a nationwide dentist network often have higher coverage levels—60%, 80%, even 100%—than those that offer more expensive, non-essential services. Typically, the more expensive the treatment is, the higher the copayment (the amount the patient must toward the treatment) will be.
Accessibility. A good dental plan should offer coverage almost everywhere military retirees are--not just in a limited number of states. Besides all 50 United States and the District of Columbia, TRICARE Retiree Dental Program coverage is available to enrollees who live in Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa and the Northern Mariana Islands, as well as Canada. The TRDP provides an expansive dentist network in over 150,000 locations nationwide for optimum accessibility to affordable, quality dental care. When traveling outside this service area, enrollees in the Enhanced TRDP are covered for dental emergencies. Comprehensive coverage under the Enhanced TRDP is also available worldwide to enrollees who live outside this service area.
Experience. Look for a plan administrator that understands the needs of military families. Delta Dental of California, the contract administrator for the TRDP on behalf of the Department of Defense, worked with the active duty family members' dental plan for years and has been helping nearly 1.3 million enrolled Uniformed Services retirees and family members get the dental coverage they need ever since the TRDP first began in 1998.
Reminder: Waiver of TRDP waiting period extends to members of the National Guard/Reserve
National Guard and Reserve personnel who elect to enroll in the TRICARE Retiree Dental Program (TRDP) within four months after their transfer to retired reserve status are eligible to skip the 12-month waiting period normally required for certain TRDP benefits. This waiver of the waiting period allows new enrollees to receive the maximum allowed benefits for cast crowns, bridges, dental implant services, dentures and orthodontics for both adults and children.
As with all new retirees, the four-month period during which a "gray area" retired Reservist can enroll in the TRDP to qualify for the 12-month waiting period waiver begins with his/her retirement effective date, not the date he or she reaches age 60.
All new enrollees seeking to obtain the waiver should submit a copy of their retirement orders together with their application.
The nation's largest voluntary, all-enrollee-paid dental program currently covers nearly 1.3 million retired members of the Uniformed Services. Eligibility for the TRDP extends to all retirees of the Reserve and Guard and their family members, including "gray area" retired Reservists who are entitled to retired pay but will not begin receiving it until age 60.
Although eligibility for this group has been in effect since the TRDP first began in 1998, many retired Reserve and Guard members still do not realize they are eligible. Visit the website at trdp.org or call 888-838-8737 for more information.
Why enrollment in the TRICARE Retiree Dental Program makes dollars and “sense”
Here are some reasons why enrollment in the TRICARE Retiree Dental Program (TRDP) can actually help you save money on the cost of dental care:
- Affordability and Value
For the cost the average enrollee pays per contract year for TRDP coverage, the program provides two cleanings, two routine exams and one set of x-rays per year, covered at 100% of the program allowable amount with no applicable deductible or maximum. If this same enrollee were to subtract the average total amount the program allows for these services from his her annual premium, the cost of the TRDP can be reduced by a substantial amount. And for the net cost of the program, the TRDP provides $1,200 per contract year for covered services, $1,000 per contract year for dental accidents, and a $1,500 lifetime maximum for orthodontic services. After only 12 months, coverage for crowns, bridges, dentures and orthodontics becomes available. These are often necessary services that can be extremely costly—especially without any type of dental coverage.
- Coordination of Benefits
Uniformed Services members are retiring at an early age and many are entering the civilian work force. Coverage offered by employer plans, when available, can be costly and is not always comprehensive. The TRDP can help enrollees who have other dental coverage maximize their benefits, save on their out-of-pocket expenses and protect their family’s health when their employer’s plan coverage isn’t quite enough.
For Uniformed Services retirees who are employed or who have a spouse who is employed and who have dental coverage in addition to the TRDP, coverage and benefits are governed by coordination of benefits (COB) rules. Under COB, most dental programs, including the TRDP, cooperate with one another to avoid duplicate payments but still allow enrollees to maximize the coverage provided by both program—sometimes paying 100% of a patient’s dental bill and helping to greatly reduce out-of-pocket expenses.
Adding coverage for family members through an employer’s plan can also mean higher out-of-pocket costs. Sometimes, employer plans do not even offer coverage for family members. The TRDP covers eligible family members of non-enrolled Uniformed Services retirees who have a dental insurance plan through their employer that is not available to their families—so they can still get coverage for their family members when it would otherwise not be available. This special TRDP eligibility rule gives retired Uniformed Service members even more options for affordable, quality dental coverage and protection for their families.
- Incentives to schedule regular dental checks for you and your family
One of the most important things you can do for your overall health and well-being is schedule regular dental visits for oral exams and cleanings. Early diagnosis and prevention of dental disease is key to good dental health. Your dentist can often be the first to see signs of a more serious health problem.
The TRDP provides the coverage necessary to help maintain good oral health and often prevent the need for major dental treatment down the road. Under the TRDP, basic diagnostic and preventive care like annual exams, x-rays and cleanings are payable at 100% with no applicable deductible or maximum amount. With the increasing cost of health care, including dental, enrolling in the TRDP now makes better sense than waiting until you need more expensive services later.
Preventive care can also help you avoid more serious dental problems in the future. Start by developing good dental habits at home along with a program of professional care. Maintain a balanced diet, limit snacks, brush and floss daily, and be sure to have regular dental checkups from a professional.
- An expansive network of over 150,000 dentist locations nationwide
Participating TRDP network dentists have agreed to accept reduced fees for TRDP covered services, submit all TRDP claims paperwork, and adhere to Delta Dental’s quality-of-care standards. Enrollees who use a participating TRDP network dentist will not incur any out-of-pockets expenses except their applicable cost share and deductible, and Delta Dental will send claim payments directly to the dentist.
For more information about how enrolling in the TRDP can help reduce dental health care costs for Uniformed Services retirees and their families, visit the TRDP web site at trdp.org, or call 888-838-8737.
TRDP enrollees need to keep enrollment records up-to-date
Delta Dental of California, the administrator of the TRICARE Retiree Dental Program (TRDP), does not receive updated name or address information for TRDP enrollees from any government source, such as the finance center that disburses retired pay or the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS). If your TRDP records are not updated and maintained by Delta Dental with the most current information, you may miss out on important enrollment updates and the latest program news. Inaccurate information on file can also have an adverse affect on the processing of your TRDP claims. Therefore, it is very important that you notify Delta Dental promptly if you move or have other changes in your in your contact information.
The easiest way to update your information is to complete the online Customer Service Inquiry Form, available at trdp.org/contactus.html. After filling in all the required fields, check the button marked “Update to account information” and enter your new information in the Inquiry Details box. Click “Submit” at the bottom of the form to send your updated information electronically to Delta Dental.
You may also call Delta Dental at 888-838-8737 to make any address changes or other updates to your TRDP enrollment information.