Open Enrollment: How to Choose a Dental Plan

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Dominion National man shaking hands with dentist

This year’s open enrollment season for military retirees to choose a dental plan under the FEDVIP program runs from Nov. 14, 2022, through midnight EST on Dec. 12, 2022, for coverage effective Jan. 1, 2023.

Retirees currently enrolled in a Federal Employee Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP) plan will automatically continue their current enrollment into 2023. Those wishing to cancel or change your dental plan in any way must make changes to their insurance during open enrollment.

With several dental carriers to choose from for 2023, how do you know which plan best fits your needs? Here are some factors to help you make the best choice.

All FEDVIP dental plans provide comprehensive dental coverage, including preventive services covered at 100% when you use an in-network provider. There are no deductibles when using in-network dentists. In addition, there is no waiting period for major services such as crowns, bridges, dentures, and implants. Under most plans, there is no 12-month waiting period or age limit for orthodontic coverage, however some reimbursements may be limited during the first 12 months.

Anticipated Dental Services for the Upcoming Year

It is helpful to understand your specific dental needs in order to make an informed decision. FEDVIP offers standard and high-option plans. If you know you will need major dental work done, you might want to select a high-option plan that may cover more of the cost for major restorative procedures. If you need only preventive dental care, a standard option plan may make more sense.

Also, look for limitations such as annual maximums or orthodontic lifetime maximums, to ensure that you are not paying out-of-pocket after you’ve reached a plan’s limit.

Lastly, check whether the plan has any waiting periods that may be a barrier to receiving immediate dental care.

Access to Care

Verify that your dentist is part of your dental plan. If you have long-term loyalty to your dentist, you will want to confirm that your dentist is in the network. If you're selecting a new dentist, review the plan’s network to ensure the dentist's office is near your home or office. Most plans offer an online provider search. You also may want to confirm participation with the provider’s office.

Other Value-Added Services

When choosing your dental plan, don’t forget to look at other value-added services and discounts that may be available with your plan. For example, some plans offer discounts on teeth whitening procedures or invisible braces.

Rates

Last but not least, during open enrollment, it is important to compare the monthly premium for each plan. Affordability is important. Oral health doesn’t have to be expensive. Many insurance companies offer low-cost plans that entirely or mostly cover the costs for oral exams, cleanings, fillings and X-rays.

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