Many retirees know how to electronically access their retirement pay accounts through the Defense Finance and Accounting Center.
If you're familiar with electronic access — and even if you're not — you should check out the tools offered by the Tricare Retiree Dental Program.
The premium-based TRDP has a simplified and streamlined way for enrollees to manage their benefits through their "Consumer Toolkit," which can be found at www.trdp.org.
Enrollees who log onto the Consumer Toolkit can view their processed claims online, check their program use to date, see if they have met their deductibles and even make certain changes in their TRDP accounts, all in a few simple steps.
Once enrolled for the online service, you can also sign up for "paperless" explanation of benefits statements. This can save valuable time by providing immediate access to claims information instead of having to wait for paper EOBs to arrive in the mail.
I have signed up for the paperless EOBs, as well as the "Manage Your Benefits Online" feature. It's a simple process:
å Program participants who have not yet registered to use the Consumer Toolkit should visit the "Current Enrollee" section of the trdp.org website, select "Manage Your Benefits Online" at the top right-hand side of the page, and follow the instructions to register as a new user.
å Once registered, log onto the Consumer Toolkit using your new username and password and select the "Go Paperless" option.
That's about it. Instead of getting paper EOBs in the mail, you'll get email alerts from program contractor Delta Dental whenever a new EOB statement becomes available. Click the link in the email and you can view your EOB.
The Consumer Toolkit also allows you to check such things as whether you are enrolled in the basic or enhanced TRDP. The main marker there is your enrollment date.
The basic program, which launched in 1998, was closed to new enrollments effective Sept. 1, 2000. Those enrolling on or after that date are automatically in the enhanced program. Enrollees before Sept. 1, 2000, may stay in the basic program or upgrade to the enhanced program at any time.
Delta Dental has been trying to improve the layout and content of the program's website to make it more user-friendly. If you've never checked out trdp.org, it's worth a look.
It's easy to view and print program materials and forms. You can also sign up to receive monthly and quarterly program updates via email; contact Delta Dental electronically through the online Customer Service Inquiry Form and even locate a TRDP network dentist using a directory search function. Ë