The Defense Dept. has chosen to award the Tricare Dental Plan (TDP) contract to United Concordia to “maintain a broad stable network of dentists for enrollees and consistently implement innovative and industry-leading benchmark processes,” said UC’s chairman of the board.
The new contract will take effect in early 2017. TDP, the world’s largest voluntary dental plan, offers comprehensive coverage to Uniformed Service active duty family members and National Guard and Reserve members and their families, according to the United Concordia website.
United Concordia had previously provided dental insurance from 1996 until 2012, when the contract was switched to MetLife, according to Military.com. About 1.8 million individuals are currently enrolled in TDP through MetLife.
Some people are protesting the change, however, saying they may now be forced to find a different dental provider.
Under the newly awarded five-year contract, worth possibly $2.9 billion, some dental benefits will expand. The annual maximum benefit for users will go from $1,300 to $1,500, according to contract documents. United Concordia officials say additional coverage details are still “under development.”
Other things will remain the same under the new contract. For example, beneficiaries who pay monthly premiums to use Tricare’s dental program will continue to receive two free cleanings a year, while pregnant users will receive three.
Dental patients in need of sealants will see an increase in coverage for that treatment. Currently there’s a 20-percent cost share for that service, but under the new contact, the patient will have zero ‘out-of-pocket’ costs.
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