Health & Safety

May 4, 2012

Some Reserve, Guard members must pay dental premiums directly

Karen Parrish
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Beginning in May, some National Guard and reserve members will need to pay dental premiums directly rather than through payroll deduction, stated a senior official of the TRICARE military health plan.

A change to the TRICARE Dental Program means that payroll deduction for premiums is not currently available to about 8,000 reserve-component troops who are on orders to active duty for more than 30 days, Army Brig. Gen. W. Bryan Gamble, deputy director of TRICARE Management Activity, told American Forces Press Service.

Gamble said affected beneficiaries have been identified and will not lose coverage. They will receive direct paper bills, and should make their premium payments by check, electronic funds transfer or credit card until the payroll deduction option becomes available, he said.

“Our priority is to ensure a smooth and effective transition on behalf of the … enrollees,” the general said.

Gamble said Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, known as MetLife, became the new contractor for the TRICARE Dental Program on May 1. The program provides dental benefits for more than 2 million TRICARE beneficiaries worldwide.

Defense finance officials, TRICARE Management Activity representatives and MetLife staffers are working out a long-term solution to the payroll deduction issue, he added, and MetLife will keep affected beneficiaries informed.

Service members who think they may be affected should check their leave and earnings statements, and contact MetLife at 855-638-8371 if they do not see a premium payment, he said.

MetLife offers slightly lower premiums and more extensive benefits than were previously available in the program, Gamble said, including:

  • An increase in the annual maximum to $1,300;
  • An increase in the lifetime orthodontic maximum to $1,750;
  • Additional $1,200 maximum per year for services related to accidents or injuries,
  • No cost shares for scaling and root planning for diabetics; and
  • Coverage of an additional cleaning during pregnancy.

The program covers military family members and reserve-component service members, Gamble said. He noted that active-duty service members and activated National Guard and reserve members are not eligible for the program — though their family members are — because they receive military dental services at no charge.

“TRICARE began its partnership with MetLife on May 1, at 8:03 a.m., the first dental claim was paid under the new TRICARE Dental Program contract,” the general said.

“The beneficiary went to an in-network dentist, [and] the claim was reviewed and processed correctly,” he added. “This is just the first claim, but we expect many more as TRICARE beneficiaries take advantage of their enhanced dental benefits.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Tiffany Lindemann

Team March maintainers refurbish KC-135 Stratotanker in record time

U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Tiffany Lindemann Staff Sgt. Caleb Meyer, an active-duty crew chief, and Staff Sgt. Neftali Rivera, an Air Reserve Technician and crew chief, both from the 752nd Maintenance Squadron, screw in th...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Russell S. McMillan

Johnson assumes command of 56th Aerial Port Squadron

U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Russell S. McMillan Col. Timothy McCoy (left), commander, 452nd Mission Support Group, March Air Reserve Base, passes the guidon to Maj. Mark E. Johnson, commander, 56th Aerial Port Squadron, ...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Ryan Crane

Airman, Guardsman recognized as ‘heroes’ in Paris

U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Ryan Crane Airman 1st Class Spencer Stone (right), Aleksander Skarlatos (center) and Anthony Sadler pose for a photo in Paris Aug. 23, 2015, following a foiled attack on a French train. Stone was...
 

 
150822-F-RK887-146

Chief Kacsmaryk Retirement

U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Russell S. McMillan Chief Master Sgt. Michael Kacsmaryk, superintendent, 752nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, March Air Reserve Base, receives a U.S. flag that was flown over the Capitol, duri...
 
 

The 452nd Air Mobility Wing 2015, 3rd Quarter award winners

Airman of the Quarter – Senior Airman Christian Bojorquez, 452 SFS   NCO of the Quarter – Staff Sgt. Kevin Duffy, 56 APS   SNCO of the Quarter – Senior Master Sgt. Winston Demmin, 452 AMXS   Company Grade Officer of the Quarter – Capt. Dawn Schultz, 452 MDG/752 MDS   (Not pictured) Civilians of...
 
 

Healthy Base Initiative ends, Team March continues concept

The Defense Department’s Healthy Base Initiative is about to end, but the emphasis on health and wellness is merely making a transition. The Healthy Base Initiative, a DOD demonstration project at 14 installations that tested ways to improve the health and wellness of troops, civilians and their families, is ending this month. However, the successful ideas that...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>