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News from Our Partners: TRICARE Open Season and Federal Benefits Open Season Begin November 11


Open season is an annual period when you can enroll in or change health plans for the next year. Now is the time to think through whether you or your family members want to make changes to your current health, dental, and vision plan coverage.

Two open seasons run at the same time this fall: TRICARE Open Season and Federal Benefits Open Season. TRICARE Open Season applies to anyone enrolled in or eligible for a TRICARE Prime or TRICARE Select health plan. Federal Benefits Open Season is for enrollment in the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP). Both the TRICARE and FEDVIP open seasons begin on November 11 and end on December 9. Enrollment choices made during this period will take effect on January 1, 2020.

“Open season is a good time to look at 2020 costs and think about how much health, dental, or vision coverage you’ll need for the coming year,” said Mark Ellis, with the Policy and Program Section of the TRICARE Health Plan at the Defense Health Agency. “If you aren’t sure what your options are, or want to learn the key components of TRICARE and FEDVIP plans, visit the TRICARE and FEDVIP websites.”

On the TRICARE website, you can use tools, like the TRICARE Plan Finder and TRICARE Compare Cost Tool. These resources help you see which plans you’re eligible for and help you to compare plans and costs. On the FEDVIP enrollment website, you can enroll in or make changes to your FEDVIP plan. The website also provides tools to help you find the right dental and/or vision plans for you and your family.

What can you do during TRICARE Open Season?

If you’re eligible to participate in TRICARE Open Season, you have three choices for your 2020 health coverage:

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

If you choose to enroll in a plan or change a plan, visit “Enroll or Purchase a Plan” on the TRICARE website for details.

TRICARE Open Season doesn’t apply to TRICARE For Life (TFL) or premium-based plans. TFL coverage is automatic if you have Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B. As described in the TRICARE Plans Overview, you can purchase premium-based plans (for example, TRICARE Retired Reserve and TRICARE Young Adult) at any time. 

Outside of TRICARE Open Season, you can only enroll in or make changes to your TRICARE Prime (including the US Family Health Plan) or TRICARE Select plan following a Qualifying Life Event (QLE). A QLE is a certain change in your life, such as marriage, change of address, losing or gaining other health insurance, or becoming eligible for Medicare. Different TRICARE health plans may be available to you and your family members after a QLE.

Learn more about TRICARE Open Season at

What can you do during Federal Benefits Open Season?

Retired service members and their eligible family members may qualify to purchase dental and vision coverage through FEDVIP during the Federal Benefits Open Season. FEDVIP, managed by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, is a voluntary program that offers flexibility when selecting the right coverage for you and your family.

If you’re already enrolled in a FEDVIP dental and/or vision plan, your enrollment will automatically continue in 2020. If you wish to make changes to your existing plan, you must do so during open season.

You may choose between multiple vision and dental plans and carriers. Some plans offer both high and standard options. But to enroll in FEDVIP vision, you must be enrolled in a TRICARE health plan or have TFL coverage.

Individuals covered under any of the following programs are not eligible for FEDVIP:

Learn more about Federal Benefits Open Season at

Take command of your health and prepare to participate in this year’s TRICARE Open Season and Federal Benefits Open Season. If you want to change your 2020 coverage, you must take action during open season. Sign up for email updates about open season on the TRICARE website

Page last updated on Sept 25, 2019