Active Duty Families: Are You Prepared for the FEDVIP Open Season?

Active Duty Families: Are You Prepared for the FEDVIP Open Season?

andresr / GettyImages

About the Author

Paul Frost, a retired Navy Captain, was appointed as the Program Director, Financial and Benefits Education/Counseling/Veteran Services in March 2015.  Paul is co-lead with Lt Col Shane Ostrom, CFP®, USAF (Ret) on MOAA's Financial and Benefits Education program and is also an Accredited Veteran Service Officer (VSO), providing VA disability compensation claim and appeal information and advice to the currently serving, retiree, veteran and military family community. In Nov 2016, he completed a rigorous training track and certification as an Accredited Financial Counselor (AFC®).

 

This article is specific to active duty military. If you are a military retiree and looking for more information on FEDVIP, please read this article.

You've probably heard active duty families who are currently covered by a TRICARE health plan are eligible to enroll in vision coverage through the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP) for the 2019 benefits plan year (Jan. 1-Dec. 31, 2019). But are you preparing for FEDVIP Open Season, the four-week window from Nov. 12-Dec. 10 that allows you to enroll in vision coverage?

If you haven't already, visit the BENEFEDS https://www.tricare.benefeds.com/ website to explore your options for selecting a vision plan. MOAA recommends you start researching the numerous options for vision coverage you can enroll in during Open Season. Don't miss this opportunity to start deciding what will benefit you in 2019!

The BENEFEDS website is easy to navigate and provides a plethora of information on each plan. Below the welcome message, there are three links to help you decide where to go next. I'd recommend starting with Active Duty. Click the Learn More option then the blue View Full Article option. On this subpage you can find information on dental changes (for retirees only), a new vision option, preparation tips, and enrollment information.

By clicking this link:  Compare current 2018 plans and rates (link also available on the BENEFEDS site under the How to prepare section), you'll have access to the FEDVIP Plan Comparison Tool.

You'll open FEDVIP Plan Comparison Tool, which is a blue box under the subheading of the same name, and select which program type you want to compare (dental or vision), enter your zip code, and how frequently you intend to make payments.

I found that a person in Alexandria, Va., has eight vision plans ranging from $12.76 to $28.90 per month. 

Keep in mind, these comparisons are for the 2018 plan year, which ends Dec. 31. Plan information will be updated in October, according to BENEFEDS. Sign up today for your BENEFEDS account and use their comparison tool to start researching the best plan(s) for you and your family.

Intimidated by the abundance of choices being offered? Join MOAA's financial and benefits experts, Lt. Col. Shane Ostrom, USAF (Ret), CFP®, and Capt. Paul Frost, USN (Ret), AFC®, for a detailed FEDVIP webinar on Oct. 9, 2018. 

Shane and Paul will demonstrate “How to Shop for a Plan” - going through the details of how to compare the different options that each plan provides. Are you more comfortable with a higher premium with lower co-pays or vice versa? Is orthodonture coverage important for your family? This webinar's registration will be available in mid-September, but you can track all MOAA Career and Education events here MOAA Events.

Also, stay tuned for our Facebook Live town hall, hosted by MOAA's Health Affairs advocate Capt. Kathy Beasley, USN (Ret), FACHE, with a guest speaker from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), the human resources management office. A date for the Facebook Live town hall will be announced after the 2019 plan rates are available in October.