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FAQs About the TRICARE Dental Program

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The TRICARE Dental Program is a dental insurance program that's available to military personnel and their dependents.

As you may or may not know, in May 2012, MetLife became the new administrator of the TRICARE Dental Program (United Concordia was the previous administrator). This change brought about several other changes, which are reflected in the material that follows.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: What does TDP mean?
Answer: TDP is the acronym for TRICARE Dental Program.

Question: What does the term "sponsor" mean?
Answer: In regards to the TRICARE Dental Program, the term sponsor refers to the primary person that the plan is under, which, in regards to military families, is usually the servicemember.

Question: What does the term "beneficiary" mean?
Answer: The beneficiary is anyone who is enrolled and eligible for services. The term beneficiary, when used in reference to the TRICARE Dental Program, is referring to the servicemember and their dependents.

Question: Is DEERS enrollment required in order to participate in the Tricare Dental Program?
Answer: Yes, you must be registered with the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) in order to utilize any of the military benefits, which include the TRICARE medical and dental programs.

Question: Is there a monetary limit in regards to how much the TRICARE Dental Program will cover?
Answer: Yes, there is an annual maximum coverage of $1,300 per year.

Question: Is the $1,300 coverage limit for the entire family?
Answer: No. Each person who is enrolled has an annual coverage limit of $1,300. For example, if there are five people in your family and each person is enrolled in the TRICARE Dental Program, then each of the family members would have an annual coverage limit of $1,300.

Question: Does the TRICARE Dental Program cover stepchildren?
Answer: Yes, as long as the child is enrolled in DEERS, he or she can enroll in the TDP.

Question: Can I choose a dentist or am I assigned one?
Answer: You can select your dentist. In fact, there are over 164,000 dentist locations within the MetLife network that you can choose from.

Question: How can I find a list of dentists?
Answer: A listing of dental providers is located on the MetLife TDP Web site under the "find a dentist" section. If you can't find a provider in your area or you have additional questions pertaining to finding a provider, please call 1-855-638-8371 if you're CONUS; or 1-855-638-8372 if you're OCONUS.

Question: Is coverage available for members of the IRR?
Answer: Yes, the TRICARE Dental Program is available to members of the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) and their dependents.

Question: If we enroll in the TDP, how do we pay our premiums?
Answer: For your convenience, MetLife offers four ways to pay:
1. MetLife will bill you.
2. MetLife will deduct the premium from your checking account.
3. MetLife will bill your credit card.
4. MetLife will deduct the premiums from your Leave and Earnings Statement (LES).

Question: Does the TRICARE Dental Program cover those who are stationed OCONUS?
Answer: Yes. The TDP is available to CONUS and OCONUS military personnel and their dependents.

Question: Is there an age limit on coverage for dependents?
Answer: Yes. Unmarried children are covered until they reach the age of 21; or up to the age of 23 if he or she is enrolled full-time in college and the sponsor (the servicemember) provides over 50% of the child's financial support.

Question: How much are the monthly premiums?
Answer: That depends on several factors such as if you're active or Reserve/Guard and which plan you desire (single, sponsor only, family, or sponsor and family). For your convenience, scroll to the end of this document to view the monthly premium rates.

Question: What happens if we enroll and a few months later we can't pay our TDP monthly premiums?
Answer: Your enrollment in the TRICARE Dental Program is terminated. Furthermore, you cannot reenroll in the program for 12 months following your last premium payment.

Question: Can we continue our coverage after my husband retires from the military?
Answer: After the sponsor retires, you may be eligible for the TRICARE Retiree Dental Program (TRDP).

Question: What does the term "cost-share" mean?
Answer: The cost-share is the dollar amount that the patient (the sponsor or beneficiary) is required to pay for dental services rendered. Basically, this is the dollar amount that the TRICARE Dental Program (insurance) does not cover.

Question: After we enroll, do we use our military ID or do we receive a TDP ID?
Answer: Upon your enrollment, you will receive via postal mail a TRICARE Dental Program ID card.

Question: Will our family be covered on the day that MetLife receives our first premium payment?
Answer: No. If your payment is received before the 20th of the month, your coverage will begin on the first day of the following month. If your payment is received after the 20th of the month, your coverage will begin on the first day of the second month after your payment is received.

For instance, if your payment is received on August 19, your coverage would begin on September 1. However, if your payment is received on August 22, your coverage would begin on October 1.

Question: How can I contact MetLife or learn more about the TRICARE Dental Program?
Answer: You may contact MetLife via one of the following phone numbers and/or Web sites:

  • CONUS Phone Number: 1-855-638-8371
  • OCONUS Phone Number: 1-855-638-8372
  • TDD/TTY: 1-855-638-8373

Web sites

TRICARE Dental Program Premium Rates
The following premium rates are good through February 1, 2013.

Active Duty

Single Premium, which covers one family member: $10.30 per month.

Family Premium, which covers more than one family member: $30.89 per month.

Reserve Members
The following rates are for members of the Selected Reserve of the Ready Reserve and Individual Ready Reserve (Special Mobilization Only)

Sponsor Only Premium: $10.30 per month.

Single Premium, which covers one family member, not including the sponsor: $25.74 per month. (Note: If both the sponsor and a single family member are enrolled, the premium due is the total of the sponsor-only premium and the single premium.)

Family Premium, which covers more than one family member, not including the sponsor: $77.22 per month.

Sponsor and Family Premium, which covers all family members, including the sponsor: $87.52 per month.

Individual Ready Reserve (IRR)
The following premiums are for members of the IRR (Non-Special Mobilization)

Sponsor-Only Premium: $25.74 per month

Single Premium, which covers one family member, not including the sponsor: $25.74 per month. (Note: If both the sponsor and a single family member are enrolled, the premium due is the total of the sponsor-only premium and the single premium.)

Family Premium, which covers more than one family member, not including the sponsor: $77.22 per month.

Sponsor and Family Premium, which covers all family members, including the sponsor: $102.96 per month.

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