US Office of Personnel Management Seal

More insurance companies will participate in the dental and vision insurance program for federal employees and retirees in 2014, the first expansion since the program was created in 2006, the Office of Personnel Management announced Friday.

Next year the Federal Dental and Vision Insurance Program will include four vision plans and 10 dental plans, including a new vision plan offered by Aetna and three new dental plans, offered by Blue Cross-Blue Shield, Delta Dental and Dominion Dental.

In the FEDVIP program, federal employees and retirees can purchase one or the other type of coverage or both, and can cover certain family members. It is separate from the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, and unlike in the FEHBP, there is no government contribution toward premiums.

“Over the last six and a half years, the FEDVIP program has allowed Federal employees, retirees, and their families to access quality vision and dental coverage,” OPM Acting Director Elaine Kaplan said in a statement. “I am pleased that we were able to increase the number of carriers participating in the program, and now we will be offering more choices and flexibility for enrollees to select insurance coverage.”

Vision plans cover costs such as annual exams, lenses and frames, while dental plans cover treatments such as examinations, cleanings, fillings and crowns.

OPM announces specifics of coverage and premium rates each fall for the following calendar year, and there is an open season from early November to early December for eligible persons to join or make enrollment changes.