TRICARE benefits for a newborn

by 1st Lt. Will Sherman
14th Medical Operations Squadron

10/17/2007 - COLUMBUS AFB, Miss. -- The 14th Medical Group wants to clarify the steps that must be taken to ensure a newborn receives full medical coverage under TRICARE.

New parents have 60 days from the date of birth or adoption to enroll their new child in TRICARE Prime. Otherwise, on day 61, the child will be covered by TRICARE Standard for a minimum of 365 days. This can result in having to pay unwanted deductibles and cost shares.

Parents should take the following steps to ensure coverage of their newborn:
Step 1 - Enroll your Child in DEERS
To register a new child in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System, obtain a copy of the child's birth certificate or certificate of live birth or adoption papers and complete a DD Form 1172, "Application for Uniformed Services Identification Card and DEERS Enrollment," with the MPF at the Personnel Building. If the sponsor is deployed or TDY, the other parent or guardian will need to show power of attorney to register the child.

Step 2 - Enroll your Child in TRICARE Prime
Once the child is enrolled in DEERS, he or she can be enrolled in Prime. Parents should complete a DD Form 2876, "TRICARE Prime Enrollment Application and PCM Change Form," for the new child at the TRICARE Service Center window located in the front lobby of the clinic.

Columbus AFB also offers informational seminars to help new parents prepare for the joys of parenthood. The Bundles of Joy class is offered to all Active Duty servicemembers or spouses who are pregnant or has a baby up to four months of age. They meet quarterly at the Airman and Family Readiness Center and provide information ranging from prenatal care to sending your child to college. A free gift package valued around $65 is also included. The next meeting will be Oct. 30 from 1 to 3:30 p.m. Call 434-2790 to sign up.

TenderCare provides education, support and training for parents of children from birth to age five. They offer a variety of educational materials that cover common parenting concerns and provide information for those who have a desire to be a more effective parent as well as provide classes covering newborn care, parenting, child and infant CPR and Dads 101. Anonymous counseling services through the family advocacy program are also available for marriage or parenting issues. Classes are advertised at various times throughout the year. The point of contact for all questions concerning TenderCare is Joseph Dudley at 434-2556.

For more information about TRICARE options call 434-2380 or visit the TRICARE Service Center in the clinic lobby.