The Department of Veterans Affairs is partnering with Delta Dental and MetLife to allow eligible veterans, plus their family members receiving care under the Civilian Health and Medical Program, to purchase affordable dental insurance.
“VA continues to explore innovative ways to help veterans get access to the care and services they have earned and deserve,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “This new dental program is another example of VA creating partnerships with the private sector to deliver a range of high-quality care at an affordable cost for our nation’s veterans.”
More than 8 million veterans who are enrolled in VA health care can choose to purchase one of the offered dental plans. This three-year pilot has been designed for veterans with no dental coverage or those eligible for VA dental care who would like to purchase additional coverage. Participation will not affect entitlement to VA dental services and treatment.
There are no eligibility limitations based on service-connected disability rating or enrollment priority assignment. People interested in participating may complete an application online through either Delta Dental (www.deltadentalvadip.org) or MetLife (www.metlife.com/vadip).
Coverage for this new dental insurance will begin Jan. 1 and will be available throughout the United States and its territories.
Also eligible for the new benefits are nearly 400,000 spouses and dependent children who are reimbursed for most medical expenses under VA’s Civilian Health and Medical Program. Generally, program participants are spouses, survivors or dependent children of veterans officially rated as “permanently and totally” disabled by a service-connected condition.
Dental services under the new program vary by plan and include diagnostic, preventive, surgical, emergency and endodontic/restorative treatment. Enrollment in the VA Dental Insurance Plan is voluntary. Participants are responsible for all premiums, which range from $8.65 to $52.90 per month for individual plans. Co-payments and other charges may apply.
Historically, VA’s free dental services have gone to veterans with dental problems connected to a medical condition that officially is certified as “service connected.” Free dental services will continue for those veterans.
For more information about the VA Dental Insurance Plan, visit www.va.gov/healthbenefits/vadip or contact Delta Dental at (855) 370-3303 or MetLife at (888) 310-1681.
Veterans who are not enrolled in the VA health-care system can apply at any time by visiting www.va.gov/healthbenefits/enroll, calling (877) 222-8387 or visiting their local VA health-care facility.
Richard Schleeter is the veterans service officer for the La Plata County Veterans Service Office. He can be reached at 759-0117 or email@example.com.