Editor’s Note: This article is part of MOAA’s 2021-22 TRICARE Guide, brought to you by MOAA Insurance Plans, administered by Mercer Consumer. A version of the guide appeared in the November 2021 issue of Military Officer magazine.
The “open season” for TRICARE and the Federal Employee Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP) is a beneficiary’s opportunity to make changes to your health care plan and/or dental/vision providers.
The 2022 open season this year runs from Nov. 8 to Dec. 13. If you take no action, you will remain under your current plan(s) for 2022. Any changes you make will take effect on Jan. 1, 2022.
Why is the open season a good time to review your health care benefits? The 2022 TRICARE and FEDVIP pricing schedules will have been posted; check out the TRICARE cost comparison tool and the FEDVIP comparison tool.
Are you happy with the medical coverage you are receiving at the base hospital/clinic under TRICARE Prime? Do you hate waiting weeks/months for a referral to a specialist? Would the flexibility of TRICARE Select be more suitable for you and your family? Are you relatively healthy and do not mind the additional cost of TRICARE Select should you need it?
These are a few questions I ask MOAA members when they seek advice about which TRICARE plan best suits their family situation. TRICARE Prime will typically cost less than Select, and costs for both programs will increase by no more than the 2022 cost of living adjustment (COLA). So the decision on which plan works best for you is only marginally influenced by price.
The same cannot be said for your FEDVIP providers. The federal government does negotiate contracts with dental and vision providers, but each year those providers have relatively free range to set their next year’s price schedule — and it is not based on COLA.
That is why it is important for every FEDVIP subscriber to review your plan’s proposed increase or decrease (yes, sometimes a plan drops its prices) so you are not surprised when you are billed in the new year. Take advantage of the open season to determine whether you are getting the most out of your military benefits.
MEDIPLUS® TRICARE Supplement
Works hand-in-hand with your Select or Prime Plan. Count on valuable protection.