VA dental insurance pilot program extended for enrolled Veterans

Beginning in 2014, VA piloted the VA Dental Insurance Program (VADIP), which provided an opportunity for certain eligible Veterans and their beneficiaries to purchase dental insurance from private insurance companies at a discounted rate. That program was slated to end Jan. 31, but a law passed in the summer of 2016 allows already enrolled Veterans to keep their insurance. The legislation also keeps the program funded through 2021.

VADIP offers Veterans enrolled in the VA health care system, as well as beneficiaries and their dependents of the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the VA (CHAMPVA), the opportunity to purchase discounted insurance from private dental insurers. Coverage includes diagnostic services, preventive services, endodontic and other restorative services, surgical services and emergency services. As of December 2016, 103,231 Veterans were enrolled in VADIP.

To establish the reauthorized program, VA must enter into new contracts with insurance providers to administer the insurance program.

“The new VADIP contract process is proceeding,” said Venis M. Whitfield, associate director of the Member Services Health Eligibility Center Member Benefits Section. “Enrollment in the pilot program ended Jan. 31, 2017, but individuals already enrolled in VADIP will automatically receive coverage for 12 months.”

VADIP was established as a pilot program by the Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2012. Customer-service survey results indicated that more than 92 percent of participants would renew in the program, indicating a strong overall satisfaction with the program.

For more information, visit or call 877-222-VETS (8387).

About the author: Angel Lawrence is the director of