Tricare Dental Premiums Increase

Tricare Dental Premiums

Effective February 2016, the premiums for Tricare Dental are increasing slightly.  Because dental premiums are paid via the allotment system, and premiums are paid in advance, the change should be reflected in your January pay.  The rate increase are different for each premium group, with increase amounts ranging from $.38 to $3.83, depending on the sponsor’s military service status and the family members being insured through the program.

Active Duty

For active duty families, there are two levels of coverage.  The active duty member is not included in the rates, so a single would be either just a spouse or just one child.  The family rates are for a spouse and any number of children, or more than one child without a spouse.

Tricare Dental

Drilling National Guard and Reserve

For non-activated National Guard, selected reserve (what most people consider “the reserves,”) and mobilization Individual Ready Reserve (IRR), there are four levels of coverage.  Sponsor only covers just the military service member.  Single coverage does not cover the military service member, but covers one member of the his or her family:  either a spouse or a child.  Family coverage includes the spouse and/or all children, but does not include the military service member.  Sponsor and family includes both the military service member and his or her spouse and/or all children.Tricare Dental Premiums

Non-Mobilization IRR

For non-mobilization IRR, there are four levels of coverage.  Sponsor only covers just the military service member.  Single coverage does not cover the military service member, but covers one member of the his or her family:  either a spouse or a child.  Family coverage includes the spouse and/or all children, but does not include the military service member.  Sponsor and family includes both the military service member and his or her spouse and/or all children.

Tricare Dental Premiums

Tricare Dental coverage beneficiaries who do not pay via military payroll payment need to ensure that their payment amounts are adjusted to the new rate.  If payments are not paid on time, you may be disenrolled from the Tricare Dental program.  Once disenrolled, you are ineligible to re-enroll for 12 months.

In addition to monthly premiums, Tricare Dental coverage has cost-shares for many services, ranging from 0% to 50%.  There are also annual maximum payment limits of $1,300 per year, per person for regular services, and $1,200 per year, per person for services related to accidents.  There is a $1,750 lifetime maximum, per person, for orthodontic benefits.

For most families and situations, Tricare Dental coverage is a wise choice.  However, there are some individuals who find it more cost-effective to “self-insure” for dental expenses, particularly National Guard and reservists and retirees.  The cost-benefit analysis for each individual situation needs to include the family size, genetic dental disposition, personal dental care habits, and general dental health.  There’s no one right answer for every family.

About the Author

Kate Horrell
Kate Horrell is a military financial coach, mom of four teens, and Navy spouse. She has a background in taxes and mortgage banking, and a trove of experience helping other military families with their money. Follow her on twitter @realKateHorrell.
  • JACK L. Lee

    I am a retired MSgt. I would like to apply for single dental coverage and have it taken out of my retirement pay. Please advise me what to do.

  • JACK L. Lee

    I am a retired Master sergent. I would like to apply for single dental plan and have it taken out of my retirement pay. Please advise me what to do.