Open enrollment for the Federal Employee Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP) occurs once a year, beginning the second Monday of November through the second Monday of December. Military retirees, their eligible dependents and Active Duty family members can enroll or change their plan coverage during this four-week period.
FEDVIP offers coverage options from 12 dental and five vision care insurers with two different levels of coverage, “standard” and “high.” Premiums are paid monthly based on the plan you select and your location.
While the current TRICARE vision coverage is still available for active duty, eligible beneficiaries will be able to select a vision plan that will cover an eye exam, eyeglasses or contacts, or both at a reduced price.
FEDVIP offers a choice of providers for dental and vision programs, allowing you to select coverage based on your specific needs. Go to TRICARE BENEFEDS to search for plans available in your area and costs.
IMPORTANT: Open enrollment is available online through TRICARE BENEFEDS which is an OPM government-authorized, sponsored enrollment portal. For those without access to a computer, OPM will release a phone number closer to open enrollment season. You can plan ahead by creating an account and signing up for webinars and updates.
AAFMAA's Director of Partnership and Member Engagement, Sarah Bumgardner, and co-host Lyne Babin, Manager of AAFMAA Member and Survivor Services, discussed how servicemembers and their families can take advantage of the benefits of FEDVIP — the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program:
Federal Employee Dental and Vision Plan (FEDVIP) Frequently Asked Questions
What is FEDVIP?
The Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP) is a voluntary dental and vision program that offers eligible participants a choice between 12 dental and five vision carriers, with some plans offering both high and standard options. To add dental and/or vision coverage, you must enroll and pay the premiums for your elected plan(s).
Who is eligible for FEDVIP?
Members of the Uniformed Services, including retirees, reservists, family members and survivors, are eligible. Active Duty family members are also eligible for vision coverage, if they are enrolled in a TRICARE health plan. If you enroll during the Federal Benefits Open Season, coverage is effective January 1 of the following year.
If you have a Qualifying Life Event (QLE) and you meet the above criteria, you may enroll within 31 days prior to and 60 days after the date of the QLE.
When can I review FEDVIP plans and rates?
The TRICARE BENEFEDS site at https://tricare.benefeds.com has a comprehensive plan comparison section. During Open Season, you can review current plan information for dental and vision coverage, including plan brochures and provider networks, for each carrier in your ZIP Code.
What is the cost for FEDVIP?
Costs vary based on the type of coverage you select and your location. For a family plan, as of the date of this article, the dental program ranges from an average of $65 to $175 monthly, while the vision program ranges from an average $22 to $44 monthly.
What is BENEFEDS?
BENEFEDS is the government-authorized and U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM)-sponsored enrollment portal used to enroll in FEDVIP coverage. BENEFEDS also manages the billing systems and customer service functions necessary for the collection of FEDVIP premiums.
What do I need to do?
If you'd like your dental and/or vision coverage to be effective the next calendar year, you must select and enroll in a FEDVIP plan during the next Federal Benefits Open Season, and you may want to compare plans now. Open season is your annual opportunity to sign up for FEDVIP, but you may also enroll when you have a Qualifying Life Event (QLE). For more information on enrolling outside of open season visit BENEFEDS.com.
What is Open Season?
The Federal Benefits Open Season (or open season) is your annual opportunity to enroll in, change, or cancel a FEDVIP dental and/or vision plan. Each year, it runs from the Monday of the second full work week in November through the Monday of the second full work week in December.
How and when do I enroll?
During open season, you will enroll in a FEDVIP dental and/or vision plan through the TRICARE BENEFEDS enrollment portal. Start by registering for an online account and during open season you will enroll in the FEDVIP plans that best meets your needs. In the meantime, sign up for updates on the site to be notified of new information that becomes available as key dates approach.
How do I pay for my FEDVIP coverage?
There are two ways to pay for your FEDVIP premiums: 1) Establish a military pay allotment; or 2) Set an automatic bank withdrawal.
If you are a retired uniformed servicemember and you have enough available funds or allotments in your retirement pay, BENEFEDS will set up an allotment with your pay provider to pay for your FEDVIP premiums, post-tax.
In the event that you do not have enough available funds or allotments, BENEFEDS will default your payment method to a recurring electronic funds transfer (EFT), referred to as an automatic bank withdrawal (ABW). You will be asked to provide your bank account information.
If you are an eligible family member enrolling as the primary enrollee, the payment method will default to ABW with the option of submitting a payroll authorization form completed by the servicemember sponsor, to have an allotment for your premiums set up from their pay, post-tax.
If you are an eligible survivor, your payment method will automatically default to ABW. You do not have the option to pay your FEDVIP premiums through an allotment.
Note: FEDVIP does not offer a credit card option to pay for coverage.
What is the difference between Military FEDVIP and Federal Employees FEDVIP?
Dental and vision insurance plans offered through FEDVIP are the same for both federal employees and TRICARE eligible beneficiaries. However, federal employees have their FEDVIP premiums deducted from their pre-tax pay. TRICARE eligible beneficiaries will have premiums deducted from post-tax earnings. If you are both a federal employee and TRICARE eligible you might realize a savings if enrolled as a federal employee.
The TRICARE BENEFEDS website is a great resource for your questions and answers. You can also watch our recent AAFMAA video on FEDVIP Open Enrollment for more information.