Government officials are giving those in the military community who are eligible for new benefits under the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP) an extra three months to enroll.

Originally the deadline to enroll was Dec. 10, but officials with the Office of Personnel Management have recognized there’s a need for more time, especially for many retirees who have been getting their dental insurance coverage through the Tricare Retiree Dental Program, said Kathy Beasley, a retired Navy captain who is director of government relations for health affairs for the Military Officers Association of America. She said officials informed her of the “belated enrollment phase” during a meeting Dec. 13.

TRDP coverage ends Dec. 31. If they still want to be covered under a government dental plan, retirees must enroll themselves and their family members in FEDVIP. Coverage begins Jan. 1.

As of Dec. 13, there were 639,000 military retirees who had enrolled in FEDVIP dental plans. FEDVIP is available to military retirees whether or not they were enrolled in TRDP.

Beasley said officials at the Office of Personnel Management didn’t specify a deadline date for those in the military community to enroll in FEDVIP, other than it’s an extra three months.

Further information was not available from the Office of Personnel Management.

FEDVIP dental insurance plans: Military retirees and their family members enrolled in Tricare Prime, Tricare Select, or using Tricare for Life are now eligible for these programs. There are at least 10 choices available to potential enrollees through FEDVIP. Premium costs vary by geographic area, and among the different insurance carriers. But within each national plan available throughout the country and internationally, the other features and benefits of that national dental carrier will stay the same from one area to another. Visit

FEDVIP vision insurance plans. Most active-duty family members, retirees and reservists and their family members are now eligible for this new vision benefit under FEDVIP that provides extra coverage beyond what they’re getting under Tricare plans. The FEDVIP vision coverage is effective Jan. 1. As of Dec. 13, eligible Tricare beneficiaries enrolled in 300,000 FEDVIP vision plans. Visit

Defense health officials have also extended the deadline to Dec. 31 for switching between Tricare Prime and Tricare Select. Beginning Jan. 1, you’ll only be able to change plans or enroll in a plan during the annual open season, or following a qualifying life event, such as marriage, birth, adoption, divorce or retiring. Visit

Karen has covered military families, quality of life and consumer issues for Military Times for more than 30 years, and is co-author of a chapter on media coverage of military families in the book "A Battle Plan for Supporting Military Families." She previously worked for newspapers in Guam, Norfolk, Jacksonville, Fla., and Athens, Ga.

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