New monthly premium costs for coverage under the Tricare Dental Program have increased by a few dollars, according to Tricare officials.

The increases are generally in line with previous years’ increases and go into effect May 1.

This is a voluntary dental benefit for eligible active duty family members and National Guard and reserve members and their families. Active duty service members, including activated reserve component members, get most of their dental care from military dental clinics.

For active duty members with one family member enrolled the single premium is $12.36, up from $11.94 the previous year. The single enrollment premium is for the family member, not the active duty sponsor. The active duty family premium is now $32.13, up from the previous $31.04. This applies when more than one family member is enrolled.

The Tricare Dental Program is a pay-ahead program; each payment is for the next month of coverage. This voluntary Tricare dental coverage is separate from Tricare medical coverage and requires separate enrollment. The Tricare Dental Plan is administered by United Concordia Companies Inc.

Other rates:

Selected Reserve and Individual Ready Reserve (under mobilization orders)

  • Sponsor only: $12.36, up from $11.94
  • Single premium: $30.89, up from $29.84
  • Family premium: $80.33, up from $77.59
  • Sponsor and family premium: $92.69, up from $89.53

Individual Ready Reserve (not under mobilization orders)

  • Sponsor only premium: $30.89, up from $29.84
  • Single premium: $30.89, up from $29.84
  • Family premium: $80.33, up from $77.59
  • Sponsor and family premium: $111.22, up from $107.43

In addition to the monthly premiums, there may also be cost-shares for dental services. There are no cost-shares for diagnostic or preventive services.

There are also plan maximums, the most that Tricare will pay for certain dental services:

  • Annual benefit maximum: $1,500 per enrollee
  • Orthodontic lifetime maximum: $1,750 per enrollee
  • Dental accident coverage annual maximum: $1,200 per enrollee

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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