Time to act: TRICARE Open Season, Federal Benefits Open Season

  • Published
  • TRICARE Communications

It’s that time of year again. Open season for TRICARE and the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program opened Nov. 11, 2019. You’ll have until Dec. 9, 2019 to enroll in a plan or make changes to your existing plan. The changes that you make will become effective Jan. 1, 2020.

TRICARE Open Season applies to anyone enrolled in or eligible for TRICARE Prime, including US Family Health Plan, or TRICARE Select. The Federal Benefits Open Season is for enrollment in a FEDVIP dental and vision plan. While the open season dates are the same, there are two separate actions for changing your TRICARE health plan, or enrolling in a FEDVIP dental or vision plan.

“If you want to enroll in a new plan or make changes to your coverage for the upcoming year, take action during open season,” said Mark Ellis, chief of the Policy and Programs Section of the TRICARE Health Plan at the Defense Health Agency. “Otherwise, during 2020, you’ll only be able to enroll in a plan or make changes if you experience a Qualifying Life Event.”

What is TRICARE Open Season, and why does it matter?

TRICARE Open Season is the annual period when you can enroll in or make changes to your health plan-TRICARE Prime (including US Family Health Plan) or TRICARE Select-for the next year. You can only make changes to your enrollment during open season or after you or a family member experiences a Qualifying Life Event

During TRICARE Open Season, you can:

  • Do nothing. If you want to stay with your current TRICARE health care plan, you don’t have to take any action. You’ll continue in your current plan through 2020 or as long as you’re eligible.
  • Enroll in a plan. If you’re eligible for TRICARE Prime or TRICARE Select but not enrolled, you can enroll in a plan now.
  • Change plans. If you’re already enrolled in TRICARE Prime or TRICARE Select, you can switch plans and switch between individual and family enrollment.

What happens if I don’t take any action?

If you aren’t already in a TRICARE health plan and don’t enroll in plan during open season, you’ll only be eligible for care at a military hospital or clinic if space is available. 

Does TRICARE Open Season apply to all health plans?

TRICARE Open Season doesn’t apply to TRICARE For Life. It also doesn’t apply to the premium-based plans listed below. As described in the TRICARE Plans Overview, premium-based plans offer continuous open enrollment throughout the year:

What can I do during Federal Benefits Open Season?

If you’re eligible for a FEDVIP dental or vision plan and want coverage next year, you must enroll during Federal Benefits Open Season. FEDVIP offers a choice of 10 dental and 4 vision carriers. If you’re already enrolled in a FEDVIP plan, you’ll automatically be enrolled in a 2020 plan. If you wish to make changes to your existing plan, you must do so during open season.

If you aren’t sure if you’re eligible for FEDVIP, you can check your eligibility for FEDVIP dental and FEVIP vision coverage online.

To get the information you need to make educated health care and financial decisions that fit you and your family’s needs, learn more about your options during TRICARE Open Seasonand Federal Benefits Open Season. You can review health plans using the TRICARE Compare Plans tool. You can review dental and vision plans using the FEDVIP plan comparison tool. If you want to change your 2020 health care coverage, take command of your health during open season.