U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Indian Health Service: The Federal Health Program for American Indians and Alaska Natives
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Dentist and Dental Hygienist Careers

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USPHS Commissioned Corps Officer Benefits

Commissioned Corps officers working for the Indian Health Service (IHS) enjoy the same benefits as their counterparts in the armed services. Here are a few of them:

  • Competitive starting pay that increases with promotions and years of service.
  • Health care and dental care at no cost.
  • Tax-free housing and subsistence allowances.
  • 30 days of paid vacation per year — beginning the first year.
  • Paid sick leave.
  • Paid maternity leave.
  • Paid federal holidays.
  • Malpractice liability coverage.
  • A retirement plan with benefits eligibility beginning after 20 years of service.
  • Thrift Savings Plan (retirement savings and investment plan similar to a 401(k)).
  • Low-cost life insurance.
  • Low-cost health care for your family.

Additional Benefits

The Commissioned Corps offers you and your family many other exceptional benefits including:

  • Paid moving expenses when you join the Corps, relocate with the Corps, and retire from the Corps.
  • Access to military base lodging, recreational facilities and space-available flights on military aircraft.
  • Shopping privileges at military base grocery and department stores.
  • Veterans Affairs benefits, such as survivor and disability benefits, home loans and   burial allowances.

Comprehensive Health and Dental Care

As a commissioned officer, you will be entitled to receive medical care at any uniformed service military treatment facility and to use other resources in accordance with Uniformed Services policies and procedures. Your family members are eligible to receive health care through TRICARE Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov and dental benefits through TRICARE’s dental plan. Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov

Life Insurance

You and your spouse (if applicable) have the option of participating in Service Members’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI).  Upon your separation or retirement, you can convert your full-time SGLI coverage to term insurance under the Veterans’ Group Life Insurance program, or to an insurance policy with one of the participating commercial insurance companies. For more information, visit www.insurance.va.gov. Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov

Loan Repayment Program (LRP)

All IHS dentists and dental hygienists are welcome to apply for awards through the IHS Loan Repayment Program (LRP) that can be used to pay off your student loans. Learn more about the IHS Loan Repayment Program.

Retirement

As a Commissioned Corps officer, you will participate in an attractive retirement system that offers you a good reason to stay within this personnel system for your entire career. Commissioned Officers are eligible to participate in a Thrift Savings Plan (TSP).  With a minimum of 20 years of service, Commissioned officers are eligible to retire with significant benefits for life.

To compare these benefits with those of the Civil Service, click here.

To see more on Commissioned Corps Benefits, check out our video.

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