TRICARE and You: Health benefits for your newborn

This blog is the most recent in a series helping members of the Coast Guard family understand how to use their TRICARE benefits. The blog series will continue every Monday, right here on Coast Guard All Hands.

Lt. Jeremy Rodrigues, a U.S. Coast Guard Reserve member, cradles his newborn son's feet in his hands during their first meeting at the San Diego International Airport, Dec. 12,2012. Rodrigues recently returned after a 7-month deployment to the Middle East with the U.S. Navy's Coastal Riverine Squadron Eleven. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Connie Gawrelli.

Lt. Jeremy Rodrigues, a U.S. Coast Guard Reserve member, cradles his newborn son’s feet in his hands during their first meeting at the San Diego International Airport, Dec. 12,2012. Rodrigues recently returned after a 7-month deployment to the Middle East with the U.S. Navy’s Coastal Riverine Squadron Eleven. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Connie Gawrelli.

Written by Cmdr. Paul Fawcett

Did you recently have or adopt a new baby? If so, congratulations! In between diaper changings and midnight feedings, you may want to take a moment to think about medical benefits for your child.

DEERS

After the arrival of your newborn or adopted child, be sure to register them in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System, or DEERS, as soon as possible. Enrolling your child in DEERS makes them eligible for military benefits, such as TRICARE. You’ll need the original or copy of the certified birth certificate to enroll your new dependent. You don’t need a social security card immediately, but will need to present it as soon as you receive the card. You can enroll your child at the nearest military ID card office. In most instances, DoD offices will service Coast Guard members if your unit doesn’t issue IDs. For more information about the requirements and how to enroll your children in DEERS visit milconnect.

TRICARE

Your new child will be on the same TRICARE plan that you are on, temporarily. If you are enrolled to TRICARE Prime, your child will be enrolled to Prime for the first 60 days. After that, if you don’t take steps to positively enroll them to Prime, they will revert to TRICARE Standard. It’s important that you consider this decision carefully, as TRICARE Standard requires higher copays and has a deductible that must be reached before TRICARE begins to pay.

Newborn and Well-Baby Care

TRICARE covers well-child care for your newborn from birth through age 5. Items included in this benefit are: vision and hearing screenings, immunizations, height, weight and head circumference, developmental and behavioral assessments and routine newborn care. For more information and the comprehensive list of well baby and well child benefits please visit the TRICARE website.

Breast Feeding supplies

TRICARE does cover breast pumps, one per family, and breast pump supplies for newborn and adopted babies. However, you must have a prescription from a TRICARE authorized physician, physician assistant or nurse practitioner. Your prescription will need to state which type of breast pump that you need: manual, standard electric or hospital grade. Supplies are covered for up to 36 months after birth and include power adaptors, bottles, storage bags and other items. Supplies that aren’t covered include: cleaning supplies, travel bags, batteries and regular baby bottles not associated with the breast pump.

For more information on the breast pump and supply benefit, visit the TRICARE website.

Do you have questions about the TRICARE benefit? Leave them in the comments below or send us an email SocialMedia@uscg.mil, and we will work to get your questions answered!

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