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Getting To Know TRICARE Dental For Retirees

Written by: Jody Adams
Last updated: January 31, 2024

Tricare covered one hundred ninety-two dental facilities in the U.S. as of 2021. Since military service affects the oral health of many Americans, it is more important than ever to have access to a Tricare Dental Plan

Moreover, according to the U.S. Census, 98 million U.S. adults will be 65 or older in 2060 or 24% of the entire population. Thus, the need for proper dental insurance is paramount, as the elderly population is growing at an unprecedented rate. 

Dental insurance is essential for seniors, as it helps cover the costs of dental care and treatments necessary to maintain oral health. Because they lose their benefits upon retirement and the federal Medicare program does not cover normal dental treatment, many elderly Americans lack access to proper dental insurance.

Tricare's Dental Plan is the ideal solution for those looking to manage their dental expenses affordably and efficiently. This plan provides comprehensive coverage for a wide range of dental services, including preventive, restorative, and orthodontic care. It also covers

Newly retired folks can sign up through the website for Beneficiary Web Enrollment. To learn more about TRICARE dental for retirees in 2023, continue reading.

What Is TRICARE Dental?

The Federal Services division of Delta Dental of California, under contract with the U.S. Department of Defense, administers the TRICARE Retiree Dental Program (TRDP), a voluntary dental benefits program with enrollee-paid premiums.

Eligible individuals living in the 50 States of America, Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and Canada are eligible for comprehensive coverage under the Enhanced TRDP.

Enrollees in the Enhanced TRDP can choose from over 100,000 participating dentist offices across the service region for even greater cost savings or from any certified dentist or specialist within their coverage area.

What To Know About Tricare Dental's Eligibility 

Those who have served in the military or are currently serving are eligible for Tricare dental coverage. This includes active duty members, National Guard and Reserve members, retirees, their families, and survivors. 

To be eligible for Tricare dental coverage, you must be:

  • Retired Reserve/Guard members (including those in the "gray area") are qualified for the TRDP because they are in this condition. 
  • Uniformed Service members who are eligible for retirement pay, including those who are 65 years old or older. 
  • National Guard and Reserve members who have transitioned to Retired Reserve status, regardless of age
  • Partners who are currently registered members. 
  • A member's qualifying child up to age 21 or age 23 if they are enrolled as a full-time student.
  • Surviving spouses who haven't remarried and/or eligible offspring of deceased members who passed away while on active duty or in retirement.
  • Current partners and/or qualified children of specific non-enrolled members with further supporting documentation (visit the website for more details)

Understanding TRDP Premium Plans

The cost of TRDP depends on various factors, including the type of plan you choose, your age, the number of people in your family, and the type of coverage you need. Generally, the cost of TRDP is based on the age of the family members, the number of people that need coverage, and the type of coverage they need. 

Federal law requires that monthly TRDP premiums be automatically taken from retirement pay for the Uniformed Services. The number of family members you choose to enroll in the Enhanced TRDP and your place of residence affects how much money you pay each month in premiums.

Enrollees in the Enhanced-Overseas TRDP pay premiums depending on their enrollment choice rather than a region (single, two-person, or family enrollment).

Preventing Oral Health Problems In Older Adults

As we get older, our oral health can become more and more of a concern. Our teeth and gums can become more susceptible to decay, infection, and disease. 

According to the CDC, A few common oral health issues include:

  • Gum disease
  • Untreated tooth decay
  • Oral cancer
  • Tooth loss
  • Chronic disease

Services Covered Under The TDP

A few of the services covered under the Treatment and Prevention Plan (TDP) include preventative care such as regular checkups, cleanings, and x-rays. The TDP also covers the following: 

  • Cleanings and exams
  • Fillings (including tooth-colored fillings on back teeth)
  • Root canals, gum treatment, and extractions
  • Dental accident coverage
  • Cast crowns and Onlays
  • Bridges and partial/full dentures
  • Implants
  • Orthodontics

Frequently Asked Questions

Finding the right dental insurance provider is key, and Tricare dental for retirees is one way to get one. Here are a few questions people ask about TDP.

Does Tricare dental cover 100%?

The answer is no. Tricare dental does not cover 100% of dental expenses. However, it does cover a wide range of services, including preventative care, basic services, major services, and orthodontic services. 

Is Tricare free for the retired military?

Tricare is a healthcare program for retired military personnel and their families. It is a comprehensive program offering a wide range of services, including preventative care, basic, major, and orthodontic services.

How much does Tricare dental cover per year?

Tricare dental coverage provides a comprehensive range of dental services for eligible beneficiaries. The coverage includes preventive care, routine exams and cleanings, and basic services, such as fillings and extractions. 

Finding opportunities to maximize retiree benefits, such as Tricare dental for retirees, is a great way to ensure that they can maintain their oral health and keep their smiles looking great. Tricare dental is a comprehensive dental insurance plan that continues to offer various services, from routine checkups and cleanings to more advanced procedures like root canals. 

Visit Gov-relations to learn more about dental assistance programs and free government dental implants.

Jody Adams
Jody Adams is an accomplished editor-in-chief with a deep understanding of social care and government benefits issues. With a background in journalism and a master's degree in Public Policy, Jody has spent her career shaping the narrative around social policies and their impact on society. She has worked with renowned publications, effectively bridging the gap between complex policy analysis and public understanding. Jody's editorial expertise ensures that vital information on social care and government benefits reaches a broad audience, empowering individuals to make informed decisions.
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