Can Retired Military Get Dental Care on Base?

As a retired military personnel, understanding your dental care options is essential for maintaining your overall health. You served your country faithfully and now it’s time for you to receive the care you deserve. But still, can retired military get dental care on base?

Let’s explore this crucial topic in-depth –

Can Retired Military Get Dental Care on Base?


No, retired military cannot get dental care on base. However, they are eligible for dental insurance through the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP). FEDVIP offers a variety of dental plans to choose from, and coverage can be purchased during the annual Federal Benefits Open Season each fall.

Historically, retired military personnel had access to dental care on base. However, recent changes in military health facilities have altered the landscape of available services for retired military members.

In an effort to focus on active-duty readiness, a number of military treatment facilities and clinics have begun to limit services to active-duty personnel, potentially impacting retirees’ access to dental care on base​.

Retirees and Dental Care

Dental plans for retirees are primarily available through the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP), offered by the Office of Personnel Management.

Eligible individuals can enroll in, change, or cancel a FEDVIP dental plan during Federal Benefits Open Season, or after a FEDVIP qualifying life event​.

FEDVIP is a voluntary, enrollee-pay-all military dental insurance program that provides participants with a choice between ten dental insurance companies, each offering varying levels of coverage​. You can begin, end or change your coverage at any time if you have a “Qualifying Life Event” such as marriage, loss of other dental coverage, gaining a new family member, losing a family member, moving, or other reasons. Dependents are covered until the age of 22​.

Eligibility for FEDVIP

Retirees, their dependents, and several other groups are eligible for FEDVIP. These include those entitled to military retired pay, members of the Retired Reserve/Guard, current spouses of enrolled members, children of an enrolled member (up to age 22), unremarried surviving spouses or eligible children of a deceased member, and Medal of Honor recipients and their immediate family members​.

Impact of Changes in Military Health Facilities

While the primary driver for these changes in military health facilities is military readiness, these alterations are anticipated to bring cost savings for the system.

However, these changes will bring higher costs to many retirees forced to see doctors within the civilian community. Retirees on Tricare Prime receiving care off base will face additional charges per visit for primary and specialty care, on top of a yearly registration fee​.

Pharmacy services should continue to be available in many cases at facilities shifting to active-duty only, but those provided by facilities closing completely will cease​. The transition to active-duty only clinics will only occur once care is secured within the civilian community for each patient, a process that may take up to five years​.

Also Read – Can Retirees Use Military OneSource?


While changes in military health facilities have shifted the focus towards active-duty readiness, retired military personnel still have options for dental care. Although the availability of on-base dental care may be diminishing, retired military personnel can access dental coverage through the FEDVIP program.

Understanding these changes and the options available is crucial for retired military personnel to continue receiving the dental care they need and deserve.

Please note that due to the rapidly evolving nature of these policies, it is important to regularly check with official sources or your base’s dental clinic for the most up-to-date information.

Martin Miller


Martin Miller is a dedicated retirement expert with over 12+ years of experience in helping individuals achieve their retirement goals. Martin has extensive knowledge and expertise in retirement planning, investment management, and wealth preservation strategies. Keep reading his blog Save10 which can be considered as an encyclopedia for retirees or who are planning their retirement goals.