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News Release


IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 504-97
September 23, 1997

RESERVE DENTAL PROGRAM TO BEGIN OCTOBER 1, 1997

In early September, enrollment information and applications were mailed to more than 780,000 members of the Selected Reserve describing a new benefit called the TRICARE Selected Reserve Dental Program (TSRDP).

The enrollment package will provide details about this all-new, low-cost voluntary dental program which will be available, beginning October 1, to Selected Reserve personnel of all branches of the military services who live in the 50 United States, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

"Our primary concern is for the health of all our deploying forces," said Dr. Edward D. Martin, acting assistant secretary of Defense for Health Affairs. "Providing dental insurance for the Selected Reserve is a very significant step toward ensuring their dental health and very importantly, achieving the dental readiness of early deploying Reserve personnel," Martin said.

Humana Military Healthcare Services Inc. (HMHS) is the contractor for this program and will conduct the mailing. The TSRDP enrollment package will explain the program and will include an application form, a benefits brochure, a postage-paid reply envelope and a toll-free telephone number which Reserve and National Guard personnel can call if they have questions. Eligible personnel will be able to enroll at any time. However, those who have returned their completed application and prepayment by September 20 could be covered for dental insurance services as early as October 1.

Reservists who want to enroll in the plan must have at least 12 months of service remaining, and must initially enroll for 12 months. After the initial 12-month period, Reservists may enroll on a month-to-month basis as long as they remain eligible and pay their premiums.


"Readiness has always been priority one. This is an affordable benefit that will significantly increase the dental health readiness of our Selected Reservists," said Deborah R. Lee, assistant secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs. "I would highly encourage all eligible personnel to take advantage of it."

The Department of Defense will be paying 60 percent of the monthly premium. Enrollees will only pay $4.36 per month. In return for this premium, Reserve and National Guard enrollees will receive covered diagnostic, preventive and emergency services, with no additional out-of-pocket costs. For covered restorative services, E-4s and below will pay a 10 percent cost share and E-5s and above will pay a 20 percent cost-share. For covered oral surgery, E-4s and below will pay a 30 percent cost-share and E-5s and above will pay a 40 percent cost-share. There is no deductible for the TSRDP, but the maximum benefit available is $1,000 per enrollment year for covered services.

Humana Military Health Care Services is establishing a network of dentists throughout the TSRDP-covered geographical area. Although Reserve and National Guard enrollees may use any licensed dentist, there will be several advantages to using network providers. All network providers have agreed to accept the program's payment for covered dental services as payment in full. There will be no "balance billing" for covered services and the network providers will also file all claims. The enrollee will be responsible only for paying the applicable cost-share.

If a non-network dentist is chosen, the enrollee may be balanced-billed, meaning the enrollee will have to pay the difference between what the plan pays and what the dentist normally charges for the service, plus the cost-share. Non-network dentists may also require enrollees to file their own claim forms.

Active Guard/Reserve (AGR), and Selected Reserve members on extended active duty (beyond 30 days), active duty members, retired members, members of the Standby Reserve, Retired Reserve and Individual Ready Reserve and family members are not eligible for this plan. The plan is also not available to Reservists living in Europe, Asia or areas outside the 50 United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The toll-free number at HMHS to call about the TRICARE Selected Reserve Dental Insurance Program is 1-800-211-3614.

For more information on this program, news media representatives are encouraged to contact the office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs - Lt. Col. Terry Jones at (703) 695-3620.