Make Vision Coverage Choices to Fit Your Needs


According to the National Eye Institute, more than 150 million Americans have a vision problem that makes it hard for them to see clearly—but many don’t know that they could be seeing better. Prescription contact lenses and eyeglasses can help you see clearly. But they’re expensive. If you aren’t an active duty service member (ADSM) or activatedCalled or ordered to active duty service for more than 30 days in a row. National Guard and Reserve member, TRICARE only covers prescription glasses and contacts to treat certain conditions. If you or your family members wear glasses or contacts, did you know you might be eligible to purchase vision insurance through the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP)?

Routine eye exams can help keep your vision strong. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that regular eye exams help to find eye diseases early and preserve your vision. In other words, reduce your risk of experiencing vision loss or blindness. Take the time to understand your TRICARE vision benefits and what other options you may have. 

TRICARE Vision Coverage

TRICARE vision coverage depends on who you are, your health plan, and your age. It includes an annual routine eye exam for active duty family members (ADFMs) using TRICARE Prime and TRICARE Select. TRICARE also covers other services to help diagnose or treat medical eye conditions.

TRICARE Prime ADFMs and retiree family members may get their exam from any TRICARE-authorized network provider without a referral or pre-authorization from their primary care manager (PCM). If you see a non-network provider and you don’t have a referral from your PCM, you’ll be using the point-of-service option. TRICARE Select ADFMs may visit any TRICARE-authorized providerAn authorized provider is any individual, institution/organization, or supplier that is licensed by a state, accredited by national organization, or meets other standards of the medical community, and is certified to provide benefits under TRICARE. There are two types of TRICARE-authorized providers: Network and Non-Network. DS. US Family Health Plan (USFHP) enrollees can find an eye doctor online through their USFHP provider.

TRICARE Select retirees and their family members don’t have coverage for eye exams. If you have TRICARE For Life (TFL), you also don’t have eye exam coverage.

FEDVIP Vision Coverage

With FEDVIP, you can choose from multiple vision plans and eye care providers. The plans vary in coverage and cost. But most plans include routine eye exams, vision correction, glasses, and contact lenses.

FEDVIP Eligibility

You can check to see if you can enroll in a FEDVIP vision plan online. ADFMs, retirees, retiree family members, and National Guard and Reserve members enrolled in TRICARE Reserve Select or TRICARE Retired Reserve may qualify to purchase FEDVIP vision coverage. You must be enrolled in a TRICARE health plan or have TFL coverage to enroll in FEDVIP.

You can use the plan comparison tool to learn about and compare FEDVIP plans. The tool lets you view rates, benefits, and coverage information for multiple plans at a time.

Enroll in FEDVIP During Federal Benefits Open Season

During Federal Benefits Open Season, you can enroll in or change FEDVIP vision plans. Open season begins on Nov. 11 and ends on Dec. 9. Your enrollment choices will take effect on Jan. 1, 2020. You can only make plan changes during open season, or when you experience a FEDVIP qualifying life event (QLE). Examples of FEDVIP QLEs include events, like getting married or moving.

Remember that as long as you’re enrolled in a TRICARE health plan, your TRICARE vision coverage continues. To learn more about your vision benefit, contact your regional contractor. To learn more about FEDVIP vision plans, check out the FEDVIP enrollment website.

At the time of posting, this information is current. For the most recent information, contact your TRICARE contractor or local military hospital or clinic.

Last Updated 10/14/2021