This post was sponsored by the MetLife TRICARE Dental Program as part of an Ambassador Program for Influence Central.
When I first became a military spouse, I was a little skeptical about the health care services available to me. After all, I had heard a lot of complaining and cynical comments about it all. It seemed like no one was ever happy with the care they received. So when it came to my teeth, I was especially skeptical. I’ve got a weird thing with my teeth. One, I don’t like them. Two, my sister and I badly collided when we were kids, resulting in broken front teeth, root canals, and a fake front tooth. (Did I mention that I hate my teeth?) There was no way I was letting some hack dentist root around in my mouth and screw it up more.
I was extremely nervous when I went to my first dentist appointment through MetLife. But… I found out that my dentist is awesome. That’s right– an awesome, skilled dentist who also takes my insurance! It was a dream come true!
I know that during the holidays, most people want to find a meaningful way to say thank you to military members and their families. The easiest way? Helping them find solid services and resources when they’re new in town or new to military life. Know someone who could use a little extra help when it comes to figuring out the TRICARE Dental Plan? Forward them this blog post. (That was easy!)
Here are 10 surprising (and helpful) things about the TDP that you probably didn’t know!
Dentists… Dentists Everywhere
There are more than 250,000 dental locations around the world in the TDP provider network. That means that no matter where you are, you will be able to find a dentist you feel comfortable with who is covered by TDP. (I did– I love my dentist! Now, that’s a sentence you don’t often see!)
You Can Appeal
It is possible to file an appeal regarding a MetLife claim decision. You need to do it in writing and within 90 calendar days of the dental explanation of benefits statement.
You Can Also File a Grievance
Did something go wrong during your trip to the dentist? First, talk to your dentist about the quality of service and care you received. If you are not satisfied or still have worries, you can submit a grievance with MetLife online or in writing for resolution.
Choose How to Pay
You can pay your monthly premium through payroll, an electronic funds transfer, or by credit card. The flexibility makes it easier for your to choose the best method for your family’s budgeting strategy.
Maximum Benefits and Accidents
Every year (between May 1 and April 30), there is a $1,300 maximum benefit per beneficiary for non-orthodontic services. Certain diagnostic and preventative services don’t count towards the max. And if you experience trauma to your mouth (like a sports injury or a fall)? There’s an additional $1,200 maximum benefit per beneficiary per year.
Since we’re talking about maximum benefits, it’s important to note that the orthodontic lifetime maximum benefit is $1,750.
Swag for Pregnant Spouses
While normally beneficiaries are entitled to two routine dental cleanings per year, pregnant women are eligible for three!
Gold Star Families
No one likes to talk about death, especially the death of their spouse. However, it is important to know that there are dental benefits available to surviving family members– even if they were not enrolled in the TDP at the time of thee service member’s death. Surviving members do not pay premiums. Dental coverage is available for children until the age of 21 (or 23 if they are in college). Spouses are eligible for dental care for 3 years after the service member’s passing and then afterwards, spouses may be able to use the TRICARE Retiree Dental Program.
For National Guard and Reserve
If an NG or Reserve member is enrolled in the TDP, network dentists can complete the DoD’s Active Duty/Reserve Forces Dental Examination form at no cost to the member.
Follow on Social Media
Stay up-to-date with the TDP by following their Facebook page. After all, I know you’re already on Facebook– streamline how you get your information! If you’re on Twitter, you’ll want to follow MetLife’s TDP handle too. And of course, there’s the website for in-depth information.