News | Aug. 26, 2021

Expecting a Baby? Here’s How TRICARE Can Help

By TRICARE Communications

You just learned you’re going to be a mom. Congratulations—this is a happy and exciting milestone in your life. But you may also feel nervous about what comes next, and that’s okay. TRICARE is here to help you every step of the way.
 
“New mothers often have questions about their health care coverage and what they can do to promote a healthy pregnancy,” said Elan Green, chief of TRICARE Health Plan’s Member Benefits and Reimbursement Section. “TRICARE provides access to a wide range of maternity care resources and services to help mothers and their babies get the care they need.”
 
As a soon-to-be mom, there are some important steps you’ll need to take to prepare. Here’s what you need to know.
 
Before your baby is born
As soon as you think you may be pregnant, schedule an appointment with your health care provider. This will ensure you get early and regular prenatal care, which is essential. Prenatal care is the care you receive from the time you find out that you’re pregnant until you deliver your baby. These checkups help you find out your due date and may include services, like ultrasounds or antepartum care, to monitor your baby’s health. They’re also a good opportunity to ask your doctor questions and decide on the type of provider you want to deliver your baby.
 
Your TRICARE plan and location may determine the type of birthing facility you’ll use or if you’re eligible for a planned home birth. You may also have the option of choosing an obstetrician, family practice provider, or certified nurse midwife to deliver your baby. Keep in mind, you must see a TRICARE-authorized provider for care. There may be limitations on certain services overseas. Talk to your TRICARE contractor if you have any questions.
 
When you’re in labor and delivery
As outlined in the TRICARE Maternity Care Brochure, TRICARE will cover any medically-necessary services you need once it’s time for your labor and delivery. Some of these services include:
  • Anesthesia for pain management
  • Fetal ultrasounds
  • Cesarean section (C-section) if needed
  • Hospitalization
 
“TRICARE also covers other services you may need during your stay in the hospital,” said Green. “Your doctor will usually monitor you and your baby for a minimum of 48 hours—or 96 hours if you have a C-section—to prevent complications. If complications do arise, your doctor and team will be well-equipped to provide the attention, care, and support needed.”
 
After your baby is born
After your baby is born, you’ll receive postpartum care to ensure your body is healing properly. TRICARE covers a minimum of two postpartum visits. More visits will be covered if you have complications or if your doctor thinks it’s needed. Something else you may need after your baby is born is breastfeeding support. TRICARE covers breastfeeding counseling that you may receive during your hospital stay or at another setting. You can also get breastfeeding supplies at no cost with your TRICARE benefit. This includes mothers who adopt an infant and plan to breastfeed. Visit Breast Pumps and Supplies to learn more.
 
Do you have questions about maternity costs? Your costs depend on your beneficiary status, location, TRICARE plan, and provider. As stated in the TRICARE Maternity Care Brochure, “Active duty service members and active duty family members have no costs for maternity care when enrolled in a TRICARE Prime plan.” Other beneficiaries may have copayments or cost-shares or both. You can use the TRICARE Compare Cost Tool to view maternity costs for each plan.
 
As you prepare to welcome your new baby, don’t forget that giving birth or adopting are TRICARE Qualifying Life Events. Make sure you review the information on getting coverage for your newborn and take advantage of the maternity care services available to you and your family.
 
Have you gotten your COVID-19 vaccine yet? If not, you should strongly consider doing so. The COVID-19 vaccines are safe for mothers who are pregnant or breastfeeding, and can help keep you and your baby healthy. Visit www.cdc.gov to learn more.
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