Veterans Benefits For Dummies
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The Tricare Retiree Dental Program (TRDP) is a voluntary dental insurance program available to eligible military and their families. Under the Tricare dental care program, you pay a monthly premium in exchange for dental care benefits, which are managed by a company called Delta Dental.

You can find information on enrolling in Tricare Retiree Dental Program online, or by calling 888-838-8737 between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. (Pacific time) Monday through Friday.

The cost of Tricare Veterans Dental Care

The Tricare dental program is a separate, voluntary benefit for veterans, and it isn’t free. If you elect to participate, you pay a monthly premium in exchange for dental coverage. How much you pay depends on where you live and the number of people in your family that you elect to have covered.

Find a dentist under Tricare Veterans Dental Care

Delta Dental has a listing of more than 100,000 network providers. If you use a network provider, the provider files your insurance claims for you and doesn’t charge more than the plan’s authorized amount.

You can, of course, use any dentist you want, but your coverage is based on the authorized amount. If your non-network dentist charges more than this, you’ll have to dig into your pocket to pay the difference.

What Tricare Veterans Dental Care covers

Under the Tricare dental program, you have to pay an annual deductible. For the TRDP, the deductible is $50 per person with a $150 cap per family. After the deductible is met, you receive the coverage shown here.

Dental Benefits Available during the First 12 Months of Enrollments
Benefits Available Delta Dental Pays
Diagnostic services (such as exams) 100%
Preventive services (such as cleanings) 100%
Basic restorative services (such as fillings, including tooth-colored fillings on back teeth) 80%
Endodontics (such as root canals) 60%
Periodontics (such as gum treatment) 60%
Oral surgery (such as extractions) 60%
Emergency (such as treatment for minor pain) 80%
Dental accident coverage 100%
Additional Services Available after 12 Months of Continuous Enrollment or if Enrolled within 4 Months after Military Retirement
Benefits Available Delta Dental Pays
Cast crowns, onlays, and bridges 50%
Partial/full dentures 50%
Dental implant services 50%
Orthodontics 50%
Maximum per Benefit Year (October 1–September 30)
Benefit Maximum Benefit
Annual maximum (per person, per benefit year) $1,200
Orthodontic maximum (per person, per lifetime) $1,500
Dental accident maximum (per person, per benefit year) $1,000

The coverage shown here is based on the Delta Dental allowable rates. If you decide to use a dentist outside of the Delta Dental network, you may have to pay extra.

Like everything else in life, the cost-shares and fees shown here are subject to change, so be sure to check for current costs and benefits.

Using Tricare Veterans Dental Care overseas

Here’s some good news for military retirees and their family members who live overseas. Your friendly neighborhood Congress critters decided recently to expand retiree dental benefits to those living in foreign countries. How cool is that?

You should carefully weigh your options when considering whether to enroll in the TRDP overseas. In some cases, you may not get back what you pay into it. Generally, the monthly premiums are significantly higher than the amount charged for those who live in the United States.

For instance, average out-of-pocket expenses for dental care in the Philippines are generally much less than monthly insurance premiums. In some countries, if you’re married to a citizen of that country, you may be eligible for national healthcare, which may include free dental care. So do a little bit of homework before you enroll.

About This Article

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About the book author:

Rod Powers is a recognized expert in all U.S. military matters. A military author, his articles have appeared in numerous military and civilian publications. Powers is the co-author of the successful ASVAB For Dummies, 2nd Edition, and serves as a military guide for

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