News | April 20, 2021

Getting TRICARE for Your Newborn Child

By TRICARE Communications

Are you a soon to be parent? Welcoming a new baby can be exciting and nerve-racking at the same time. If this is your first child, you may have questions about doctor visits and health care coverage. That’s where TRICARE can help. When your baby is born, you experience a Qualifying Life Event (QLE). This allows you to enroll your newborn or make changes to your TRICARE Prime or TRICARE Select coverage.
 
“Securing TRICARE coverage for your newborn is an important step once you’re back home from the hospital,” said Shane Pham, program analyst with the Policy and Programs Section of the TRICARE Health Plan at the Defense Health Agency. “This ensures your child is covered for important doctor visits and medical services.”
 
You can get TRICARE for your newborn or child in two steps. The first step is registering them in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS). Next, you need to choose a TRICARE health plan and enroll your child or make any eligible enrollment changes.
 
Below you can find more details about this two-step process and when you need to take action.
 
1. Registering Your Child in DEERS
As stated in the TRICARE Qualifying Life Events Fact Sheet, when your baby is born, you must register them in DEERS. This also applies if you adopt or have a child placed in your home by court appointment. DEERS registration ensures that your child can use TRICARE. Stateside sponsors have 90 days from the QLE to register their child in DEERS. Overseas sponsors have 120 days to do this.
 
If you’re a sponsor, you’ll need to visit a Uniformed Services ID card office to complete the registration. Bring your child’s birth certificate, proof of adoption, or letter of placement. You don’t need to wait for your child to receive a Social Security number to start the registration process. But you do need to update your child’s DEERS record once he or she receives a Social Security number.
 
Keep the registration timeline in mind as well. If you don’t register your child in DEERS during the allotted time period, TRICARE may deny your claims until you register. And your child may only be able to get care at a military hospital or clinic if space is available. 
 
2. Choosing or Confirming Enrollment in a TRICARE Plan
After you register your child in DEERS, you can enroll them in a TRICARE plan. In some cases, this enrollment is automatic. And the type of plan your child is enrolled in depends on where your family lives. Below is a breakdown of how this works.
 
If you’re an active duty family living stateside:
  • Your child is automatically enrolled in TRICARE Prime if living in a Prime Service Area (PSA).
  • If living outside of a PSA, your child is automatically enrolled in TRICARE Select.
  • You have 90 days to change your child’s enrollment to a different health plan.
  • If you register your child in DEERS late, your child’s coverage is backdated to the date of birth. If you need to, talk to your TRICARE contractor about reprocessing any claims.
 
 If you’re an active duty family living overseas:
  • Your child is automatically enrolled in TRICARE Overseas Program (TOP) Select. Be sure your address in DEERS shows as overseas for automatic enrollment to work.
  • You have 90 days to change your child’s enrollment to TOP Prime or TOP Prime Remote, as long as the child is command-sponsored.
  • If you register your child in DEERS late, your child’s coverage is backdated to the date of birth. Contact the TOP contractor about reprocessing any claims that you may have.
 
If you’re a retiree:  
Keep in mind, if you’re a retiree, it’s important to register your child in DEERS during the allotted time period. If you register your child late, TRICARE won’t backdate your coverage. You’re also responsible for all costs from day 91 (or 121 if overseas) until you enroll your child in a health plan. Talk to your TRICARE contractor if you have questions about enrollment or filing claims.
 
Have you found a plan that fits your family’s needs? Once enrollment is complete, make sure you take advantage of the covered services to keep your child healthy as he or she grows. TRICARE covers well-child care from birth through age 5. This includes routine services, like newborn care, vaccinations, and more.
 
Throughout the Month of the Military Child, the Military Health System is sharing resources to help support the health and well-being of military children of all ages. For more on QLEs and coverage for your newborn child, check out the Giving Birth and Adopting page. You can also find information to help you get ready for the birth of your child in the TRICARE Maternity Care Brochure.
Doctor sitting at desk

Need Help Finding a TRICARE Network Provider?

News
Jan. 11, 2022

The new year has begun. It’s a great time to renew focus on your health. Did you put off seeing a doctor in...
Read More
Graphic of the TRICARE Choices for National Guard and Reserve Handbook

In the National Guard or Reserve? Learn About Yo...

News
Dec. 28, 2021

Are you a National Guard or Reserve member? Check out the TRICARE Choices for National Guard and Reserve...
Read More
There are two main categories of Medicare providers: participating and non-participating. A third category is opt-out providers, which are your most expensive option. If you wish to make the best choice for your coverage, it’s important that you learn the differences between each provider type.

TRICARE For Life: Choosing Your Provider Option

News
Dec. 22, 2021

Do you have medical coverage under the TRICARE For Life (TFL) program? Will you soon be eligible for TFL? If...
Read More
MHS Nurse Advice Line logo

Need Health Advice at Home? Chat With a Nurse 24/7

News
Dec. 20, 2021

With the threat of flu season added to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, you might not want to go to the doctor’s...
Read More
Prescription pill bottles sit on a shelf

What You Need to Know About New TRICARE Pharmacy...

News
Dec. 15, 2021

As of Dec. 15, CVS Pharmacy is a part of the TRICARE retail pharmacy network. At the same time, Walmart, Sam’s...
Read More
Hands holding pill bottle

How TRICARE Pharmacy Network Changes Will Affect...

News
Dec. 13, 2021

Have you heard about the changes coming to the TRICARE retail pharmacy network starting Dec. 15? CVS Pharmacy...
Read More
Service member hugs children

Act Now: TRICARE Open Season Ends Dec. 13

News
Dec. 09, 2021

Did you know TRICARE Open Season ends on Monday, Dec. 13? This is your last opportunity, if you so choose, to...
Read More
Woman on laptop

Researching Your 2022 Health Care Costs? Here Ar...

News
Dec. 07, 2021

Did you know that we’re currently in TRICARE Open Season? This is the time when eligible TRICARE beneficiaries...
Read More

Jan. 11, 2022

Need Help Finding a TRICARE Network Provider?

The new year has begun. It’s a great time to renew focus on your health. Did you put off seeing a doctor in 2021? If so, now is your time to act. Regular checkups are critical to screening for diseases and preventing future health problems. And TRICARE is here to help you find the right doctor.

Dec. 28, 2021

In the National Guard or Reserve? Learn About Your Health Care Options

Are you a National Guard or Reserve member? Check out the TRICARE Choices for National Guard and Reserve Handbook.

Dec. 22, 2021

TRICARE For Life: Choosing Your Provider Option

Do you have medical coverage under the TRICARE For Life (TFL) program? Will you soon be eligible for TFL? If so, it’s important to become familiar with your choices of Medicare providers, whatever your needs may be.

Dec. 20, 2021

Need Health Advice at Home? Chat With a Nurse 24/7

With the threat of flu season added to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, you might not want to go to the doctor’s office for a minor health issue. And with the Military Health System (MHS) Nurse Advice Line, you may not have to. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one of the best ways to prevent flu and COVID-19 is to avoid contact with people who are sick. With the MHS Nurse Advice Line, you can get health advice 24/7 from a registered nurse from the comfort of your home.

Dec. 15, 2021

What You Need to Know About New TRICARE Pharmacy Network Options

As of Dec. 15, CVS Pharmacy is a part of the TRICARE retail pharmacy network. At the same time, Walmart, Sam’s Club, and some community pharmacies are no longer a part of the TRICARE network. What does this mean for you? Although the list of retail network pharmacies has changed, you can still get the medications you need.

Dec. 13, 2021

How TRICARE Pharmacy Network Changes Will Affect TRICARE For Life

Have you heard about the changes coming to the TRICARE retail pharmacy network starting Dec. 15? CVS Pharmacy is joining the network on that date. At the same time, Walmart, Sam’s Club, and some community pharmacies are leaving the network. If you’re a TRICARE For Life (TFL) beneficiary, you may be wondering how these changes affect the coverage of your current drugs. They don’t.

Dec. 9, 2021

Act Now: TRICARE Open Season Ends Dec. 13

Did you know TRICARE Open Season ends on Monday, Dec. 13? This is your last opportunity, if you so choose, to enroll in or change your health plan. Any changes you make to your coverage during open season will take effect Jan. 1, 2022.

Dec. 7, 2021

Researching Your 2022 Health Care Costs? Here Are 7 Terms to Know

Did you know that we’re currently in TRICARE Open Season? This is the time when eligible TRICARE beneficiaries can change or enroll in health plans for the upcoming year. But choosing a plan often means encountering a few unfamiliar health care terms.

Dec. 2, 2021

How to Choose Between TRICARE Prime and TRICARE Select

TRICARE Open Season is your yearly opportunity to review your current benefits. It’s a time to make changes to your health plan based on your personal needs. Dec. 13 marks the end of open season, so it’s important to make your decisions now. But which plan will best meet your needs in the new year?

Dec. 2, 2021

COVID-19 Booster Shots: Check Your Eligibility

Are you wondering if you’re eligible for a COVID-19 booster shot? The answer is yes, if you’re age 18 or older. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently expanded eligibility for COVID-19 vaccine booster shots as further described below.

Learn More about COVID-19 and the COVID-19 Vaccine.