Make sure your military kid has access to care
/ Published June 24, 2016
FALLS CHURCH, Va. --
If you have a new baby or have adopted a child, take the necessary steps to give your child access to health care when they need it.
Step one; register your child, newborn or adoptee, in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS). You don’t have to wait the 2-6 months it may take for a formal state department birth certificate. When you are discharged from the hospital or birth center, you will receive a certificate of live birth or documents that validate the child’s connection to their sponsor. If both parents are active duty, you must decide which parent will add the baby to their DEERS account. DEERS registration needs to be done in person, by an active duty service member.
Step two; enroll your child in Prime if you decide it is the best plan for your baby’s health care needs. You can quickly enroll your child by calling your regional contractor or by submitting a Prime enrollment form. Newborns are covered under TRICARE Prime for 60 days after birth, as long as another family member is already enrolled in a Prime option. If you decide Prime is best for your family, you must take an additional step to enroll them, it is not automatic. After those first 60 days in Prime, the child’s health coverage automatically transitions to TRICARE Standard.
Remember, Prime enrollees receive care mostly through military hospitals or clinics with no cost shares or deductibles. Standard beneficiaries receive care from their choice of provider with associated cost-shares and deductibles.
If your family is growing with an adopted child, start the process as soon as you have the information to register them in DEERS. No matter which plan you chose, this is your first step. Be sure you have all required paperwork to avoid unnecessary confusion or subsequent bills for co-payments and cost-shares.
For more information, visit the Enroll or Purchase a Plan page on the TRICARE website. You can also find the nearest DEERS registration site online.