FALLS CHURHC, Va. - When making plans to travel or move, know how your dental benefit goes with you. If you’re enrolled in the Tricare Dental Program (TDP), you’re covered around the world, whether moving to a new duty location or traveling on leave. TDP is a voluntary dental plan available to:
Family of active duty service members
Family of National Guard and Reserve members
National Guard and Reserve members who aren’t on active duty or covered by the Transitional Assistance Management Program
When moving, your TDP dental benefit transfers with you. This means you don’t have to fill out a new enrollment application when you move as your coverage remains in place. But you’ll need to update your address in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS). You can do this on the milConnect website. You can also make changes to your DEERS information by phone, fax, or mail, or in person at the nearest ID card office. To find an ID card office near you, use the RAPID’s Site Locator.
“It’s important to update DEERS when relocating to a new duty station to make sure there’s no lapse in your or your family’s dental coverage,” said Douglas Elsesser, with the Tricare Dental Program at the Defense Health Agency.
Before you move, get copies of your dental records. According to the Tricare Dental Program Handbook, the TDP doesn’t cover copying records for a sponsor’s permanent change of station. If you don’t get copies, you may have to pay for them at your new location.
After you move, you should find a new TDP network dentist near you. On the United Concordia Companies, Inc. (United Concordia) website, you can click on “Find a Dentist” to locate a dentist worldwide. You can also call United Concordia customer service for help finding a network dentist in your new area.
“We encourage you to find a dentist who is in the TDP network,” said Elsesser. “Using a network provider can help minimize your out-of-pocket costs and save you administrative hassle as the network provider will file a claim for you.”
Non-network dentists may cost you more, as you’re responsible for any cost difference between United Concordia’s allowance and the dentist’s charge.
If you relocate outside the U.S. or U.S. territories of Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, you have the option to end your TDP enrollment. However, you must disenroll from TDP within 90 calendar days of your move.
You can get dental care in the continental United States (CONUS) and outside the continental United States (OCONUS). The TDP CONUS service area includes the 50 United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The TDP OCONUS service area includes areas not in the CONUS service area and covered services provided aboard a ship or vessel outside the territorial waters of the CONUS service area.
CONUS Service Area
When you live in the CONUS service area and travel within the CONUS service area, you can visit any licensed, authorized dentist for covered care. However, you may save time and money if you visit a dentist in the TDP network. To locate a TDP network dentist, go to the United Concordia website and select “Find a Dentist.” Or, call United Concordia for help.
When you live in the CONUS service area and travel to the OCONUS service area, you’re also covered. If you seek covered dental care, you’ll pay cost-shares, and United Concordia will handle your claims as though you were visiting an out-of-network dentist.
OCONUS Service Area
When you live in the OCONUS service area and travel to the CONUS service area, you’ll pay CONUS cost-shares and follow CONUS payment rules. This applies regardless of command sponsorship status.
When you live in the OCONUS service area, you’re covered when you travel throughout the OCONUS service area. You’re also covered when you move to a new OCONUS location. If you’re command-sponsored, you’ll have reduced cost-shares and claim payment rules.
Take command of your dental health, even when changes are happening in your life. Check out the Tricare Dental Program Handbook to learn more about your TDP coverage when moving and traveling. Also, download the latest TDP newsletter to stay up to date on news about your dental benefit.