Military Children: Two Steps to Keep Them Covered


Falls Church, Va, April 7, 2015 - New baby coming or just arrived? There's so much to remember! In order to keep up with your baby's growth and medical checkups, add 'Enroll in DEERS' on your to do list to keep your child covered by TRICARE. Step two is to decide in the first 60 days after birth if you want your child in TRICARE Prime or Standard.

By policy, newborns are covered under TRICARE Prime for 60 days after birth, as long as another family member is already enrolled in a Prime option. Once enrolled in DEERS and after those first 60 days in Prime, the child's health coverage shifts to TRICARE Standard unless there is a formal enrollment into Prime. Remember, Prime is care received mostly through the Military Treatment Facilities (no cost shares or deductibles) and Standard is care received in the community with associated cost-shares and deductibles. Think ahead to decide if Prime or Standard is best for your family. Then, enroll them in DEERS as soon as possible.

Documents from the hospital are the best way to start the DEERS enrollment. Don't wait the 2-6 months it may take for a formal state/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 a member of the military. If both parents are active duty, you must decide which parent will add the baby to their DEERS account. DEERS enrollment needs to be done in person, by the active duty military member, with all required paperwork to avoid unnecessary confusion or bills for co-payments and cost-shares. If your family is growing with an adopted child, start the process as soon as you have the information to enroll them in DEERS. For more information visit the Enroll or Purchase a Plan page on the TRICARE website.

You can find the nearest DEERS registration site online. If there are special circumstances for you, e.g., you are a single parent, visit milConnect's Life Events that Impact Your Benefits page.