Clearing Up the Confusion: What Military Families Need to Know About Your Vision Healthcare Coverage

Published: August 29, 2023

Hello, military families! We totally get how confusing healthcare decisions can be, especially when it comes to vision care. And things have only gotten murkier with inflation driving up costs. But listen up: You shouldn’t have to trade off your vision health for other essentials—especially when research shows a whopping 61% of Americans and one in four school-aged children need some form of vision care. (Wow!) So, even though your TRICARE Health Plan might not have you completely covered, no worries! There’s a safety net: supplemental vision care.

Think of supplemental vision insurance as your financial superhero, swooping in to save you from hefty bills for prescription eyeglasses and contacts. Now, if you’re raising an eyebrow in confusion, don’t fret. Until recently, TRICARE beneficiaries didn’t have this option, so there are bound to be questions.

To shed light on this topic, we’ve brought in Molly from Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) FEP Vision, a trusted Blue Star Partner, to help answer your FAQs.

Let’s dive right in! 👇

Can I order contacts for my military family online when stationed overseas?

Absolutely! Many military families use providers like Warby Parker and 1-800 Contacts when living overseas because they’re convenient and easy to use.

Doesn’t TRICARE cover my vision care?

Kind of. Here’s the deal; your basic TRICARE Health Plan only pays for vision exams. If you need contacts or glasses, you’ll foot the bill unless you have supplemental insurance through a vision plan like BCBS FEP Vision.

Does supplemental insurance cover my kids?

Yes. Many military families opt for supplemental insurance because it can be a cost-effective way to access vision care. With a “Family Plan,” you get an allowance on frames or contacts for your entire family at a budget-friendly monthly fee. Plus, you can use your insurance at popular providers like Sam’s Club, Target Optical, Costco, and Walmart.

Can I sign up today?

Not quite yet. Military families can enroll during Open Season from November 13th to December 11th, 2023. However, if you experience a qualifying life event like having a baby, getting married, or retiring from the service, you can enroll outside of Open Season.

What are the benefits of using FEDVIP for your family’s vision care?

With BCBS FEP Vision, you and your family can receive fully-covered, comprehensive vision care exams for children and adults without waiting periods for in-network coverage. You can also access a collection of over 220 designer frames covered in full at over 144,000 independent providers and national retailers, including Vista Optical in Select Military Exchanges, MyEyeDr, Walmart, America’s Best, Warby Parker, LensCrafters, Visionworks, Costco, Target Optical, Pearle Vision, and Sam’s Club.

With access to a wide network of providers, you can choose the most convenient and cost-effective option for your vision care needs. Check out BCBS FEP Vision’s easy online tool to determine the type of coverage that best fits your needs minus the hefty price tag:

We’re sharing BCBS FEP Vision and Molly’s insights because lots of active-duty families are shelling out unnecessary cash for prescription eyewear when they don’t need to. Whether you’re stateside or not, arm yourself with this knowledge and start researching now to gear up for FEDVIP Open Season. We wouldn’t want your military family to miss out!

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