TRICARE and You: New vision plan for active duty family members

This blog is the most recent in a series helping members of the Coast Guard family understand how to use their TRICARE benefits.

Written by Lt. Cmdr. Preston Hieb

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Ray Ordonia, an optometry technician with the 194th Wing, gestures toward an eye chart at the Mitchell Pauole Community Center in Molokai, Hi., Aug. 12, 2018. Health clinics at Central Maui, Kihei, Lahaina, Hana, Molokai, and Lanai will run from Aug. 11-19, providing medical, dental, and vision services at no cost. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Airman 1st Class Jonathan W. Padish)

For the first time ever, vision coverage is available for active duty family members.

Vision coverage is currently not part of the TRICARE program. While beneficiaries now receive one free standard eye exam each year or every other year, depending on their plan and whether they are diabetic, exams for contacts are not covered, nor are glasses or contacts themselves.

But under the new The Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP) vision program starting in 2019, family members will not only have a covered eye exam but depending on your choice of coverage may be able to get glasses, contacts or both for free or a very deep discount.  The new vision plans also offer discounts on LASIK eye surgery. TRICARE will continue its current eye exam coverage system for those who do not enroll in the new vision plan.

Currently, there are four different insurers available in the FEDVIP vision program. Monthly family premiums range from $19 to $43.

Like the FEDVIP dental program, you will be able to choose from a greater number of eye care providers than are currently a part of the TRICARE networks, and tailor your coverage to fit your individual needs.


Enroll by December 10th

You will have to enroll in a FEDVIP vision plan during open season, which runs from November 12th through December 10th, 2018.  Once enrolled, coverage will be effective January 1st, 2019.

Click here to enroll, check eligibility, compare and change plans.

If you want to enroll in the FEDVIP vision plan, you must also do it during open season. You can make changes to your insurance each year during open season or when you experience a qualifying life event such as a job change, move or birth of a child.

Check out the BENEFEDS website for details on switching over or enrolling in the new plans. You can also check out the Office of Personnel Management’s Dental and Vision insurance page for plan costs and coverage.

For enrollment questions, please contact BENEFEDS at 1-877-888-3337. BENEFEDS phone representatives can be reached from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays.

To learn more about FEDVIP, please click here.

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