Vision and Dental Insurance Retiring/Retired Military and Federal Employees.
This may be a little confusing so stay with me. While on active duty your family is enrolled in a federal dental and vision plan. Most likely your spouse is the primary insurance holder on this plan. Once you retire you will be responsible for obtaining your own plan. You WILL have a gap in coverage if you use the federal plan but I believe it’s worth the 2 month gap.
WHAT. 2 months! Yes. You can shorten it to 1 month if you plan it right. I didn’t know this so I called the day after I retired. They stated that the family policy has to cancel before I could be the primary. It only cancels at the end of the month. Since I called 1 day after my retirement I was informed I had no insurance and should have called and ensured the plan would cancel at the end of last month.
THE CATCH: I had to wait until the following month to sign up. Once you call to sign up, your dental insurance will not become effective until the following month. The system is broken so ensure you have your dental needs up to date and are able to wait at least a month or two if you procrastinate like me.
THE GOOD: I am very pleased with the insurance. I use Aetna for family vision and MetLife for family dental and both have been amazing. The coverages are high and they pay on time so I don’t get hassled by Humana or the Doctor’s office. Both are through www.benefeds.com.
RESEARCH: You need to do your own research and decide what is best for you family. I have a teenager in braces and everyone in the house has glasses or contacts so it makes sense for me to pay a high premium for a high amount of coverage.
My dental plan costs $125.00 monthly but rates vary by zip code. The same insurance is $165 monthly in Hawaii. Metlife has no out of pocket costs for cleaning, X-rays, or exams. They also have an unlimited annual maximum and many other benefits. Please make sure you check the area you will be living in to ensure they have dentists that will take the insurance that you decide to purchase.
I use Aetna for my family vision insurance at a cost of $37.40 a month. They have very high coverage for glasses and contacts. Also, large companies like LensCrafters and Target Optical take this insurance making it easy to find a location for you and your family.
BOTTOM LINE: It really is up to you. Only you know your needs so pick wisely. Once you pick you are stuck until the open enrollment season.