Federal Benefits Open Season Starts Today: What this Means for TRICARE Beneficiaries


Are you deciding on a TRICARE health plan for you and your family? Don’t forget to consider your dental and vision needs, too. Enrolling in a Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP) plan may help you get the care you need. And your chance to do so is now during Federal Benefits Open Season, which runs from Nov. 9 to Dec. 14. If you enroll during open season, your FEDVIP coverage will take effect on Jan. 1, 2021.

“The Federal Benefits Open Season is your chance to assess your dental and vision coverage needs for next year,” said Mark Ellis, chief of the Policy and Programs Section of the TRICARE Health Plan with the Defense Health Agency. “If you’re eligible for FEDVIP, you can either enroll in a plan, make changes, or stay in your current plan.”

As you weigh your options for 2021, here’s a quick refresher on how FEDVIP enrollment works.

You have until Dec. 14 to enroll

FEDVIP enrollment is separate from the TRICARE Open Season. However, both are available to you and your family from now until Dec. 14.

Check to see if you’re eligible

Your eligibility for a FEDVIP plan depends on your beneficiary status. You’ll also need to be enrolled in a TRICARE health plan to be eligible for vision coverage. Keep in mind, FEDVIP dental and vision plans are separate and you may or may not qualify for both.

Those eligible for FEDVIP dental coverage include:

  • Retired service members and their family members
  • Retired National Guard and Reserve members and their family members
  • Medal of Honor recipients and their immediate family members
  • Certain survivors

Those who may be eligible for FEDVIP vision coverage include:

  • Active duty family members
  • National Guard and Reserve members and their family members
  • Retired service members and their eligible family members
  • TRICARE For Life members

Remember, adult children enrolled in or eligible for TRICARE Young Adult aren’t eligible for FEDVIP. Active duty service members are also not able to enroll in FEDVIP. You can check your eligibility to enroll in dental coverage, vision coverage, or both on the BENEFEDS website.

Examine your FEDVIP choices

FEDVIP offers you a choice among a number of dental and vision carriers. The FEDVIP plans vary in coverage and cost. You can compare dental and vision plans and rates using the Plan Compare Tool.

Enroll in a FEDVIP plan

If you’re ready to enroll in a FEDVIP plan, find details on how to enroll on the BENEFEDS website. If you already have a FEDVIP dental or vision plan and don’t want to make a change, you don’t have to do anything. Your coverage will automatically continue in 2021.

Outside of open season, you can only enroll in or make changes to your existing FEDVIP plan if you’re newly eligible or experience a FEDVIP qualifying life event (QLE). As noted in the TRICARE Qualifying Life Events Fact Sheet, FEDVIP QLEs may differ from TRICARE QLEs and follow different timelines for enrollment. To learn more about the QLEs for FEDVIP, visit the FEDVIP QLEs page. 

Remember that the Federal Benefits Open Season ends Monday, Dec. 14. Don’t miss your chance to get FEDVIP dental and vision coverage for you and your family.

At the time of posting, this information is current. For the most recent information, contact your TRICARE contractor or local military hospital or clinic.

Last Updated 6/8/2022