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/Senior Airman Noelle Reyes

Massage therapy relaxes members during UTA

U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Noelle Reyes Massage therapy students from The American College of Healthcare (ACH), Riverside, give complimentary massages to Team March members during a June 2015 Unit Training Assembly. As ...
 
 

Celebrate National Parents’ Day 2015

Yes, you read the headline correctly. There is such a thing as National Parents’ Day. It is celebrated in the United States on the fourth Sunday of July, which happens to be this coming Sunday. This holiday was established in 1994 when former President Bill Clinton signed a Congressional Resolution into Law (36 U.S.C. § 135) for...
 
 

Last chance to design airshow poster

March Air Reserve Base is holding a design contest for the “March Field AirFest 2016: Thunder Over the Empire” poster. Everyone is eligible to enter. The winning designer will receive a 2016 AirFest package for a family of four. The package includes VIP parking for one vehicle (excluding RVs); four tickets to the pre-show dinner...
 

 
CAP

Civil Air Patrol’s California Wing encampment

As the summer season kicks into high gear, the Civil Air Patrol’s California Wing celebrated its annual Cadet Encampment, and the 40th Anniversary of the Cadet Training Group, at Camp San Luis Obispo, California, July 1st thr...
 
 
Kids-Toddler-Pool-Safety-Clipart

Summer swimming safety tips

With summer in full swing it is good to review swimming safety tips. Knowing water safety rules, current water conditions and your swimming abilities could be the difference between life and death. Swim with a buddy in designat...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Nadine Y. Barclay

Mental health resources available for those in need

U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Nadine Y. Barclay Considering the demands facing the remotely piloted aircraft enterprise, Creech Air Force Base, Nev., has formed their own Human Performance Team to meet the needs of those supp...
 




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>