Q. Because an allotment from my retired pay cannot be established, Delta Dental must bill me directly for my TRICARE Retiree Dental Program (TRDP) premiums. I have a coupon book, but sometimes I forget to send in my monthly payment. Is there a better way to pay my monthly premium payment instead of the hassle of writing out a check and remembering to put it in the mail so that my payment gets to you on time?
A. In fact, there is a much better way to make your monthly premium payment when you are billed directly. You can sign up to have your monthly premium payment deducted automatically from your bank account each month through electronic funds transfer.
Q. I've heard that as a current TRDP enrollee, I can now go "paperless" with my Explanation of Benefits (EOB) statements and get them delivered to me electronically instead of by mail. How do I sign up for paperless EOBs? And what happens if I change my mind and want to go back to getting my EOBs in the mail?
A. Paperless EOBs are the definitely the way to go! When you sign up for paperless EOBs, we'll send you an email alert whenever a new statement becomes available instead of sending your EOB in the mail. By going paperless, you can access and view your EOBs online through the self-service Consumer Toolkit© at your convenience.
Signing up for paperless EOBs is as easy as 1-2-3.
That's it! You're on your way to "Going Paperless."
- Log on to the Consumer Toolkit©
- Select "Profile"
- Select "Change Delivery Preferences" and check the electronic EOB option
When you receive an email notification that a claim has been processed, just click on the link in the email to log on to the Consumer Toolkit© and go to "Claim Information" to view your EOB. You'll save valuable time by getting your processed claim information immediately instead of having to wait for your EOB to arrive in the mail. Plus, you'll be helping to reduce paper waste—and that's good for the environment!
Q. Where can I get help on how to read my Explanation of Benefits statement?
A. Based on input from some of your fellow enrollees, we recently simplified and streamlined the Explanation of Benefits (EOB) statement for the TRICARE Retiree Dental Program (TRDP) to make it easier to understand how your claim was processed. You can download an example of the updated EOB statement which offers a helpful, detailed explanation of each area on the statement.
Q. I have been enrolled in the TRICARE Retiree Dental Program (TRDP) for over two years and have just recently remarried. I would now like to enroll my new wife in the TRDP. Will I be able to enroll her at my current benefit level, or will she have to satisfy a separate 12-month waiting period to be eligible for major services?
A. Since you have already satisfied the 12-month waiting period for major services, you will be able to enroll your wife in the same TRDP account, and she will be able to enjoy the same level of benefits as you right away, without having to satisfy a separate waiting period. However, both you and your wife will have to begin a new 12-month enrollment commitment, which means neither of you will be able to disenroll from the TRDP for any reason during that new 12-month period.
Whenever an eligible individual is added to an existing TRDP enrollment, that individual is enrolled at the same benefit level of the primary enrollee—but the 12-month commitment starts over for all enrolled individuals on the account.
Q. I'm enrolled in the TRICARE Retiree Dental Program (TRDP). Even though I find the benefits are comprehensive and the premiums are affordable, are there other ways I can save even more money on my covered dental care?
A. Yes! In addition to maintaining a regimen of good oral care at home and seeing your dentist regularly, there some other important things you can do to keep your dental care costs down. Start by making your next appointment with a TRDP network dentist in one of nearly 170,000 locations nationwide. Network dentists have agreed to accept reduced fees for providing care to TRDP enrollees. Lower fees can result in significantly lower copayments, leaving you with more of your annual maximum to use toward other services.
While not a requirement it is a good idea to ask your TRDP network dentist to submit a predetermination request to Delta Dental when you need to have non-routine treatment. A predetermination request is a free feature of the TRDP that will help you plan financially before you have more extensive dental treatment provided.
And remember that time is money, too. Participating TRDP network dentists help you save time by preparing and submitting all your claims paperwork, including any required documentation. To save time with managing your benefits, be sure you visit our online self-service Consumer Toolkit© for information regarding claims, maximums and deductibles used to date and even print down a identification card. While signed into the Consumer Toolkit© you can even sign up for paperless Explanation of Benefits (EOB) statements so that you can view your EOB electronically as soon as your claim has been processed instead of waiting for your statement to arrive in the mail!
For enrollees in the Enhanced-Overseas TRDP Delta Dental does not have an established network of dentists overseas. Provided below are two options to assist you in locating a dentist overseas:
International dentist referral service
From inside the U.S.:
From outside the U.S.:
Multi-lingual assistance coordinators are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to help you find a dentist overseas. When calling the referral service at either number noted below it is important to tell the coordinator your dental coverage is the TRICARE Retiree Dental Program. Let the coordinator know the country, city and type of dentist you need.
If you are calling from outside of the US, you must first dial the international dialing code from the country in which you are located, then the country code for the US ("1") and then this number: 312-356-5971. Let the operator know that you are calling collect.
Q. I understand that my TRICARE Retiree Dental Program (TRDP) premiums will change again with the new benefit year that starts October 1, 2012 and ends September 30, 2013. I am wondering why the premiums are adjusted every year and why I can't pay them myself each month instead of having them deducted from my retired pay?
A. At the time the current TRDP contract was awarded, premiums were established for each year of the contract. Because it is a government-authorized program, the rules and regulations of the TRDP, including premium rates, eligibility requirements, enrollment commitments, benefits, exclusions and coverage levels, can be modified only by further legislation or regulatory changes.
Title 10 of the United States Code, Section 1076c directs that your TRDP premiums must be collected automatically each month through retired pay deduction using one of six discretionary allotments. Direct billing of monthly premiums is an option only if retired pay is not available or is insufficient to allow the allotment amount
Q. I am currently an active duty service member who will be retiring on October 31. My son, whom I have enrolled in the TRICARE Dental Program, is undergoing orthodontic treatment and is scheduled for orthodontic banding at the beginning of September. When I enroll in the TRICARE Retiree Dental Program, will my son's orthodontic treatment be covered upon my enrollment? How will Delta Dental calculate the payments that still need to be made to his orthodontist?
A. If you enroll yourself and your son in the TRICARE Retiree Dental Program (TRDP) at any time during October (the month of your retirement), your coverage and that of your son—including orthodontia—will begin on the very first day of the following month, so there will be no lapse in coverage. Because your son will become eligible for orthodontic coverage under the TRDP while his orthodontic treatment is already in progress, Delta Dental will prorate payment for his remaining orthodontic treatment according to the remaining portion of active treatment scheduled as of his date of eligibility for TRDP orthodontic coverage. Details of how payments are calculated for in-progress orthodontic treatment are outlined in the "Orthodontic Claims Processing and Payments" section of the Enhanced Program Benefits Booklet.
Q. My husband and I are both in the Army. Although he will be remaining on active duty for a while, I am about to retire. What are my options for dental coverage?
A. As the spouse of an active duty member, you can of course enroll in the TRICARE Dental Program for active duty family members. However, you should strongly consider enrolling in the TRICARE Retiree Dental Program (TRDP) as well, which will give you the advantage of dual dental coverage. Your dental benefits under each program will be coordinated, often resulting in little or no out-of-pocket costs for you.
What's more, if you enroll in the TRDP within four months after you retire, you will be eligible for major services as soon as your TRDP coverage is effective, without having to satisfy the normal 12-month waiting period. The TRDP also offers an expansive network of dentists to help you maximize your cost savings. You can learn more about TRDP enrollment on this website; find out how Coordination of Benefits works in the Enhanced Program Benefits Booklet, and search the online Dentist Directory for a participating TRDP dentist near you.
Q. I am a TRDP enrollee and want to change dentists. What do I have to do to make a change?
A. The answer to your question is: Nothing! As an enrollee in the TRICARE Retiree Dental Program (TRDP), you are allowed to see any dentist you choose, as long as he or she is licensed to practice within the TRDP service area. If you are not satisfied with your current dentist or wish to change dentists for any reason, you are free to do so at any time.
The TRDP offers enrollees an expansive list of participating dentists in over 170,000 locations nationwide. These dentists have an agreement with Delta Dental to provide dental care to TRDP enrollees at significantly reduced fees that can save enrollees like yourself an average of 22% on your copayments and help stretch your annual maximum so that more is available for additional services.If your current dentist is not a member of the TRDP dentist network, you have the option to select a participating TRDP network dentist. And if your current dentist is a participating TRDP network dentist but you still want to change, you have many more participating dentists to choose from so that you can continue to maximize your cost savings and get the most value possible from the TRDP.
For more information about choosing a dentist for your TRDP dental care, refer to the "Selecting Your Dentist" section of the online Benefits Booklet —and learn how the TRDP helps you save on your dental care!
Q. I've been hearing a lot lately about "being green" and "going paperless." I understand how reducing paper consumption helps the environment—but with so much information about the TRDP that I need to have readily available, how can I "go paperless" and still manage my TRDP enrollment?
A. As an enrollee in the TRICARE Retiree Dental Program (TRDP), you already have paperless access to almost everything you need to help you manage your enrollment, right at your fingertips! For instance, on this website you can find:
- comprehensive program information;
- a Customer Service Inquiry Form that you can complete and submit electronically for a prompt response by email;
- all the necessary program materials and forms (like the Benefits Booklet and claim form) that you can view online (and print if you really need a paper copy!); and
- an online Dentist Directory to make it easy to locate a TRDP network dentist near your home or office.
The Consumer Toolkit® offers even more self-service tools to help you manage your enrollment. The newest of these is the ability to sign up for paperless Explanation of Benefits (EOB) statements—now, you'll be able to view them immediately through the Toolkit (we'll notify you by email as soon as a claim has been processed) instead of waiting for your paper copies to arrive in the mail. Log on to the Consumer Toolkit® today to see all the other great options that are there to help you throughout your TRDP enrollment (and be sure to connect with us on Facebook too!)
Q. I have been enrolled in the TRDP for several years and have been seeing the same dentist the entire time. She's great--but how do I know if she's a participating TRDP network dentist so that I can be sure I'm getting the maximum amount of cost savings I can get under the program?
A. As an enrollee in the TRICARE Retiree Dental Program (TRDP), you know that seeing a TRDP network dentist helps lower your dental costs by an average of 22% more. So in order to maximize your cost savings, it is key to ensure that your dentist is part of the network of dentists who practice in one of over 170,000 locations that support the TRDP.
Here are some important tips that will help you be sure you select a TRDP participating network dentist for your treatment. First, be specific: Ask the dentist if he or she is a member of the TRDP Delta Dental Legion or Delta Dental PPO network, rather than inquire if the office simply "takes Delta Dental" or if the dentist is a "Delta Dental dentist." Not all dentists are Delta Dental dentists, and not all Delta Dental dentists belong to the network that supports the TRDP; seeing a dentist who participates in the TRDP network means you will get a dentist who has agreed in advance with Delta Dental to:
- handle all your claims paperwork
- accept reduced fees for TRDP covered dental services to help minimize enrollees' out-of-pocket costs
- only charge you for your copayment—the percentage of the program fee that you may be required to pay—as well as abide by Delta Dental's standards for claims processing and quality of care.
Most of all, don't be afraid to ask the dentist directly if he or she is a participating TRDP network dentist before you make your appointment, and discuss options and costs for your dental care prior to beginning any treatment plan. Visit our website at trdp.org for a list of participating TRDP network dentists conveniently located near your home or office. And if you find your current dentist is not already in the TRDP network, you can nominate your dentist to receive information from Delta Dental on how easy it is to become a participating TRDP network dentist.
Q. I am enrolled in the TRICARE Retiree Dental Program (TRDP) as a "gray area" retiree under age 60 who is not yet eligible to collect retired pay. Because an allotment from my retired pay cannot be established and Delta Dental must bill me directly for my TRDP premiums, I signed up to pay my monthly premium payment via electronic funds transfer (EFT), right from my bank account. I have decided to change banks, however, and I am wondering how to go about making a change in my banking information so that my premium payment will be taken out of my new bank account through EFT.
A. You can change your bank account information quickly and easily by logging on to the online Consumer Toolkit®. You can also make changes in your bank account information using one of these three methods:
Be sure to check out the all-new features of the Consumer Toolkit that allow you to find out the total amount of TRDP premiums you have paid, view your premium payment history, print an account statement, check your current balance, and more!
- Complete and submit the convenient and secure online Customer Service Inquiry Form. Simply write your request to change your bank account information for your EFT payment in the "Inquiry Details" box provided near the bottom of the form, then click "Submit" in the bottom right-hand corner to send your request electronically.
- Call our Customer Service department toll-free at 888-838-8737 and request that your EFT be discontinued.
- Send your request in writing to:
Delta Dental of California
Federal Government Programs
PO Box 537011
Sacramento, CA 95853-7011
I recently enrolled myself and my wife in the TRICARE Retiree Dental Program (TRDP). When I received my welcome packet in the mail, I noticed that both ID cards contained only my name. Since my wife is also enrolled and presumably eligible for TRDP benefits, why didn't she receive an ID card with her name on it? Can I get an ID card for my wife in her own name?
A. System requirements allow for TRDP identification cards to be printed with the primary enrollee's program information only. However, these TRDP identification cards are applicable for use by all eligible family members.
It is important to understand that ID cards do not verify current eligibility or guarantee benefits. Although they are not a guarantee of coverage, the ID cards do contain valuable information such as your group name and group number that signify whether you are enrolled in the Basic (4600), Enhanced (4601) or Enhanced-Overseas (4602) program. We also recommend that you take your Benefits Booklet with you when you visit your dentist, in case there are any questions about your coverage.
You may verify eligibility status by accessing the online Consumer Toolkit. Once you have registered and logged on to the toolkit, you can also print additional ID cards for use by other family members who may be enrolled, if necessary, as well as perform a number of additional functions that enable you to manage your TRDP enrollment account yourself, at your own convenience.
Q. My late husband was an Army private who had been on active duty for only six weeks before he was killed during a combat mission in Iraq. Our two young sons and I are currently enrolled in the TRICARE Dental Program (TDP), but it's been almost three years since my husband's death, and now our dental coverage under the TDP is about to expire! The transition assistance advisor on base told me I could be eligible to enroll the family in the TRICARE Retiree Dental Program (TRDP) after our coverage under the TDP ends. What are the requirements, and how do I enroll?
A. Surviving spouses and dependents of service members who died while on active duty for more than 30 consecutive days are eligible to enroll in the TRDP. Survivors of deceased Uniformed Services retirees are also eligible for the TRDP.
At the time of the active duty member's death, survivors become eligible for the TDP, regardless of whether or not they were enrolled in the program prior to the active duty member's death. Benefits for survivors who are already enrolled or who choose to enroll in the TDP will continue for three years from the month following the active duty member's death, regardless of the initial enrollment date. After the three-year period ends, eligible survivors can enroll in the TRDP by providing a letter from the TDP contractor that indicates when TDP coverage ended.
Additionally, if a survivor enrolls in the TRDP within four months after TDP coverage ends and provides a letter from the TDP contractor substantiating that the coverage expiration date is within the four-month period, the survivor would be allowed to forego the customary 12-month waiting period for major services and therefore be eligible for the full scope of TRDP benefits--including cast crowns, inlays, bridges, partial/full dentures, implants, and orthodontics—upon the TRDP coverage effective date.
The TRDP may allow the survivor of a deceased Uniformed Services retiree to forego the customary 12-month waiting period if he or she enrolls within four months after the retiree's death. Proof of the date of the retiree's death must be submitted with the enrollment application.
Q. I have been enrolled in the Enhanced TRICARE Retiree Dental Program (TRDP) since October 2008 and will be transferring to Stuttgart, Germany in January 2012. Will I be able to use my TRDP benefits in Germany? Also, I understand that in Germany, the dentist will bill me and I must then submit a claim to Delta Dental for reimbursement of my covered treatment. Is this correct?
A. The answer is yes to both your questions. As a current enrollee in the Enhanced TRDP, you will automatically be enrolled in the Enhanced-Overseas TRDP once you have moved overseas. You will be eligible for all the same benefits you are eligible for now as an enrollee in the enhanced program, anywhere in the world.
Visit the Enhanced-Overseas resources page to learn about using your TRDP benefits overseas, including how to locate an overseas dentist, a downloadable overseas claim form and instructions for completing the form.
Be sure to update your address information using the online Consumer Toolkit so that you will be assured of a smooth, uninterrupted transition of your TRDP benefits and enrollment account.
Q. I’m enrolled in the TRICARE Retiree Dental Program (TRDP). While I find the scope of TRDP benefits is very comprehensive and the premiums are affordable, are there other ways the TRDP can help me save even more money on my covered dental care?
A. Yes! At Delta Dental, we strive to provide optimum service to our customers not only by educating them on the cost-savings benefits of enrolling in the TRDP but by continuing to find ways to help them maximize their cost savings after they’ve enrolled.
In addition to maintaining a regimen of good oral care at home and seeing your dentist regularly, there some other important things you can do to keep your dental care costs down. Start by making your next appointment with a participating TRDP network dentist in one of nearly 170,000 locations nationwide. Network dentists have agreed to accept reduced fees for providing care to TRDP enrollees. Lower fees can result in significantly lower copayments, leaving you with more of your annual maximum to use toward other services.
Always ask your participating TRDP network dentist to submit a predetermination request to Delta Dental when you need to have non-routine treatment. A predetermination request is a free feature of the TRDP that will help you plan financially before you have more extensive dental treatment provided.
And remember that time is money, too. Participating TRDP network dentists help you save time by preparing and submitting all your claims paperwork, including any required documentation. To save time with managing your benefits, be sure you visit our online self-service Consumer Toolkit® for help with all your TRDP enrollment needs.
Q.I’m enrolled in the TRICARE Retiree Dental Program and went through a divorce a few months ago. I decided to go back to using my maiden name. I also moved to a different home in the same neighborhood. I assumed that the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS), which distributes my retired pay, would have notified you of these changes—but a couple of recent claims were denied because the name and address information the dental office listed on the claim forms didn’t match the information you have on file. How do I get my information corrected?
A.As you recently found out, we do not receive updated name or address information for TRICARE Retiree Dental Program (TRDP) enrollees from the finance center that disburses your retired pay, the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS), or any other government source or agency. Inaccurate TRDP account information can cause you to miss out on important enrollment updates and the latest program news as well as cause delays in processing and paying your claims, so it is very important that you notify Delta Dental directly—and promptly—if you move or have other changes in your information.
The easiest way to update your TRDP account information is by using the new “Manage Enrollment” feature now available on the Consumer Toolkit©. After logging in to the toolkit and accessing the “Manage Enrollment” screen, simply click on the “edit” button on the right of the screen that allows you to make the necessary updates to your TRDP account information. You may also call our Customer Service department at 888-838-8737 to make any address changes or other updates to your TRDP account information.
Q.I just received notification that my TRICARE Retiree Dental Program (TRDP) premiums will increase again with the new contract year that starts October 1, 2011 and ends September 30, 2012. Why do the premiums increase every year? And can I pay all my monthly premiums, in advance, in one lump sum rather than have them taken out of my retired pay each month?
A.At the time the current TRDP contract was awarded, premiums were established for each year of the contract in order to allow for projected changes in the cost of dental care. As a government-authorized program, Congress and the Department of Defense mandated the scope of benefits and regulations of the TRDP, including premium rates, eligibility requirements, enrollment commitments, benefits, exclusions, and coverage levels. These rules and regulations of the TRDP are subject to modification only as authorized by further legislation or regulatory changes.
Your TRDP premiums are collected automatically each month through retired pay deduction. The automatic deduction is directed by federal law (Title 10 of the United States Code, Section 1076c) and uses one of six discretionary allotments. Direct billing of monthly premiums is an option only if retired pay is not available or is insufficient to allow the allotment amount.
Q. I'm newly enrolled in the TRICARE Retiree Dental Program (TRDP) and want to start off on the right foot, but I'm really afraid that once I start using my benefits I might run into problems with my claims and won't know what to do. Are there some things I can do ahead of time that will help me to start making use of the benefits I signed up for and ease my fears about getting my claims submitted, processed and paid successfully?
A. We want your enrollment in the TRDP to be a positive and satisfying experience. We also realize that in order for your enrollment in the TRDP to be successful, it's important that you understand how to get the most from your dental coverage and where to go for help when you need it. That's why we offer a comprehensive "Getting Started" brochure that provides useful tips and guidelines to help you begin using the benefits of your program. Self-service tools like the Consumer Toolkit®, online Customer Service Inquiry Form and automated interactive voice response telephone system are available to help you manage and optimize your benefits as a TRDP enrollee and get prompt answers to your questions. The most up-to-date version of the Benefits Booklet that you received when you first enrolled is available online 24 hours a day, seven days a week for you to refer to at your convenience. The booklet contains detailed information about eligibility, covered services and how to select a network dentist as well as a section on submitting claims and how to read your Explanation of Benefits form, and a page with information on who to contact if you need assistance.
One of the best ways to get the most from your TRDP coverage right from the start is to see a participating TRDP network dentist for your dental treatment. You'll save money because network dentists accept significantly reduced fees for treating TRDP patients and can't charge you more than your cost share and applicable copayment. They'll also take care of all your TRDP claims paperwork so that you don't have to worry about it and will accept payment directly from Delta Dental so you won't have any bills to worry about, either. If you need more than just a routine exam or cleaning and are concerned about the cost of more extensive dental treatment, ask your dentist to submit a predetermination request so that you will have a good idea how much your treatment will cost, before it's provided. We recommend that you take your Benefits Booklet with you to the dentist, and if you have concerns about the quality of care or level of service you received, we encourage you talk to the dentist first and try to resolve your concerns before they become bigger issues.
Q. Help! My son just had his first "dental accident"-- his front tooth was knocked out during a baseball game.Thankfully we enrolled him in the Enhanced TRICARE Retiree Dental Program (TRDP) a couple of years ago, at the same time we enrolled. Will the Enhanced TRDP cover our dental bill for his injuries?
A. We're sorry that your son had an unfortunate accident with his tooth; however, we are pleased to tell you that he is fully covered under the Enhanced TRDP, at 100 percent of the program's allowable amount, for dental services related to the injuries to his tooth and mouth incurred during his accident. Dental accident benefits under the TRDP are subject to covered services "provided for external conditions caused directly or independently of all other causes by external, violent and accidental means" and are limited to services provided to an eligible individual within 180 days following the date of the accident.
The TRDP allows an annual maximum benefit amount of $1,000 for dental accident coverage for your son; this maximum benefit amount is separate from the $1,200 annual maximum amount to which he is also entitled. Both these maximums will restart on October 1, so if your son needs further dental treatment as a result of his injuries, he will have an additional $2,200 to use as long as the services related to the injury are provided within 180 days following his accident. What's more, the annual $50 deductible does not apply to dental accident treatment.
We'd also like to remind you that your TRDP coverage includes athletic mouthguards. It may be worthwhile to consider an athletic mouthguard for your son as extra protection against reinjuring his teeth or suffering a new dental injury.
For more information about coverage for dental accidents and athletic mouthguards, please refer to the online Enhanced Program Benefits Booklet.
Q. I know that as an enrollee in the TRICARE Retiree Dental Program (TRDP), there is a broad network of participating dentists available to me who charge significantly lower fees for the same great care. I want to take advantage of the additional cost savings as well as the extra, value-added services these dentists provide TRDP enrollees. How do I go about finding a participating TRDP network dentist who fits the bill?
A. The TRDP offers an expansive network of dentists so that enrollees just like you can have the opportunity to save as much money as possible while getting the highest quality of dental care available. It is definitely to your advantage to choose a dentist who participates in the TRDP network--TRDP network dentists offer you the most value from your enrollment by saving you an average of 22% on your out-of-pocket dental expenses.
With participating dentists in over 150,000 locations nationwide, you can easily locate one in your area. The online Dentist Directory contains the names, addresses and telephone numbers of every participating TRDP network dentist. Each search of the directory generates a list of up to 60 randomly selected dentists, allows you to specify the distance you are willing to travel to see a network dentist, and provides a map with directions to the dentist's office.
For more information about the advantages of seeing a participating TRDP network dentist, please refer to the Enhanced Program Benefits Booklet.
Q. I just retired from the service and immediately got a job working in the private sector. Although I’m eligible for the TRICARE Retiree Dental Program (TRDP), I’m already enrolled in my new employer’s dental plan. A friend of mine who is enrolled in the TRDP says that if I also enroll, the TRDP will coordinate benefits with my employer’s coverage so that I will have to pay very little out of my pocket for my dental care—and that sometimes the two coverages may pay for 100 percent of my bill. Can you explain more about what coordination of benefits means and how it works?
A. When you have coverage under two dental programs—such as your employer’s dental program and the TRDP—you can use your benefits from both insurance programs. This is referred to as the coordination of benefits (COB).
The dental insurance industry has developed guidelines for COB to help you receive the maximum benefit available to you. Although COB can often mean that most or all of your dental charges will be paid, COB guidelines determine the actual amount of the total payment. This ensures that the payment from both plans never exceeds the total amount of your bill and helps avoid duplicate payments to keep dental care costs as low as possible.
As you can see, there are benefits to having coverage under two dental programs. Before you enroll in the TRDP, however, we recommend that you ask your employer’s carrier about their COB policy to make that you are able to get the maximum coverage under both plans.
If you decide to enroll in the TRDP, remember that as a newly retired Uniformed Services member you are eligible to waive the 12-month waiting period for major services if you enroll within four months after your retirement from active duty. The sooner you enroll in the TRDP, the sooner you can begin taking advantage of COB for all your dental care. For the quickest and easiest way to enroll, enroll online at trdp.org/pro/enroll.html. You can also find out more about coordination of benefits in the online Benefits Booklet.
Q. When enrolling in the TRICARE Retiree Dental Program (TRDP), what kind of documentation do I need to provide as proof of my eligibility and/or that of my dependents?
A. When you enroll in the TRDP, you should be prepared to supply the following documentation as proof of your or your dependent(s)' eligibility if the following circumstances apply:
- If you are enrolling within four months of your retirement from active duty or transfer to Retired Reserve status, you must submit a copy of your retirement orders/DD214, confirmation of your transfer to Retired Reserve status, or a Chronological History of Drill Points to verify your eligibility for waiver of the 12-month waiting period for additional services.
- If you are not enrolled in the TRDP but wish to enroll your current spouse and/or eligible child, you must supply documentation that you are: (a) eligible to receive ongoing comprehensive dental care from the Department of Veterans Affairs; (b) enrolled in a dental plan through your employment and the plan is not available to your family members; or (c) unable to obtain benefits through the TRDP due to a current and enduring medical or dental condition. You must submit written documentation supporting any of these three situations along with your enrollment application.
- If you are enrolling a dependent child who is over age 21 but under age 23, you must supply proof of the dependent child's full-time student status. If your dependent child is older than age 21 but is not a full-time student, the child must currently be disabled and have been disabled prior to turning age 21 in order to be enrolled in the TRDP, in order to be enrolled in the TRDP, and can remain enrolled for as long as he/she is disabled.
- Unremarried surviving spouses/dependent children of deceased members who wish to enroll in the TRDP must supply documentation showing they are not eligible or are no longer eligible to be enrolled in the TRICARE Dental Program (TDP) for active duty family members.
Q. With all the news lately about identify theft, I have some concerns. What are Delta Dental and the TRICARE Retiree Dental Program (TRDP) doing to protect my identity?
A. As a federal contractor and administrator of the TRDP for the Department of Defense, Delta Dental is legally and contractually bound to adhere to the Privacy Act of 1974, which was established to guard against the invasion of privacy of any record maintained on an individual by a government agency. You can be assured that Delta Dental goes above and beyond to provide the highest level of security possible with regard to protecting your personal information.
Q. Under the TRICARE Retiree Dental Program (TRDP), can I really save money by seeing a dentist in the TRDP network? Just what are all the advantages of seeing a dentist in the TRDP network, as compared to having my treatment provided by an out-of-network dentist?
A. It is definitely to your advantage as a TRICARE Retiree Dental Program (TRDP) enrollee to visit a TRDP network dentist. Perhaps the biggest advantage is that your out-of-pocket costs for your covered dental treatment will be less, because the fees that TRDP network dentists charge are agreed upon in advance with Delta Dental. Network dentists have also agreed to charge you only your applicable copayment at the time of service--which is going to be lower because of the prenegotiated fees that TRDP network dentists have agreed to accept--and network dentists will not charge you the difference between their regular fees and the agreed-upon fees for covered services. They will handle all your TRDP claims paperwork for you, including submitting any x-rays and/or other supporting documentation that may be required to process your claims, and will accept payment for the claims directly from Delta Dental. And, of course, TRDP network dentists must adhere to the same high quality-of-care standards as all Delta Dental dentists, which are among the highest in the industry.
Having your TRDP covered dental care provided by an network dentist not only maximizes your cost savings by lowering your copayments--it helps you maximize your benefits as well. Since the amount of Delta Dental's payment, or allowed amount, that is deducted from your annual maximum is lower when you see a dentist in the network, you will have more left of your annual maximum that you can use for other services.
And locating a TRDP network dentist is so easy! The TRDP has network dentists--including specialists--in over 100,000 locations nationwide. To search online for a network dentist in your area, just visit our website or call our toll-free number at 888-838-8737 for a list of network dentists near you.
Q. I have been enrolled in the Basic TRICARE Retiree Dental Program (TRDP) since early 2000. I would like to have better dental benefits and am thinking about upgrading to the Enhanced Program, but I do have some concerns: Has the program improved over the original TRDP? If all I need to do every year is get my teeth cleaned, why should I pay more for benefits I might not otherwise use? Can someone with dentures benefit from the TRDP? And if I upgrade to the Enhanced TRDP, why do I still have to meet the 12-month commitment?
A. There have been many enhancements to the TRDP since it first began in 1998. The TRDP has gone from a program that provided only the most basic dental preventive benefits to a full-scale, comprehensive program with coverage for all routine and major dental services as well as an expanded service area and an even larger nationwide dentist network.
As you know, the purpose of having any kind insurance is to be prepared for the unexpected. Although your oral health may be at its optimum level today, you never know when you might have an accident that requires extensive dental work, or even break a tooth or need a root canal. Having a comprehensive dental program like the Enhanced TRDP offers peace of mind and can help with unexpected out-of-pocket expenses that could easily cause an unnecessary financial burden.
An individual with dentures can still benefit from the Enhanced TRDP by becoming eligible for annual exams and diagnostic x-rays as soon as his or her coverage is effective. After 12 months of continuous enrollment, the Enhanced TRDP will cover 50 percent of the program allowed amount (up to an annual maximum of $1,200) for new complete upper and lower dentures.
There is another big advantage of upgrading your enrollment to the Enhanced Program that you may not have thought of: If you are enrolled in the Enhanced TRDP, you are covered for emergency dental treatment when traveling overseas! You will most likely need to pay the overseas dentist for the emergency services at the time they are rendered; however, all you have to do to be reimbursed by Delta Dental once you return to the service area is to submit a copy of the treating dentist's billed charges along with your completed claim form.
The purpose of the 12-month waiting period for both new enrollees and those who are upgrading from the Basic to the Enhanced TRDP is to help keep the program premiums as low as possible. Even though you have a 12-month waiting period for major services such as crowns, bridges, partial and full dentures, orthodontics, and implants, by upgrading your enrollment to the Enhanced TRDP you can receive an additional cleaning, a $200 increase in your annual maximum and an alternative benefit for tooth-colored fillings on your back teeth as soon as your coverage under the Enhanced TRDP becomes effective.
And upgrading your coverage is so easy! All you need to do is call Delta Dental at 1-888-838-8737. If you prefer, you can download an upgrade form that you can complete and mail back to Delta Dental at the address shown on the form.