Maternity (Pregnancy) Care

Army Reserve: Active Duty

Benefit Fact Sheet

Summary

Maternity (or pregnancy) care includes the medical services related to conception through delivery including: Prenatal care, Post-partum care (generally for six weeks after delivery) and, treatment of any complications.

On April 19, 2022, the Army released Army Directive 2022-06 (Parenthood, Pregnancy, and Postpartum). The directive contains 12 components. Six are entirely new and the other six are updates to existing policies.

This directive will apply to:

  • Regular Army (RA)

  • Army National Guard (ARNG)

  • Army National Guard of the United States (ARNGUS)

  • U.S. Army Reserve (USAR)

Below are the 12 components that are included in the Parenthood, Pregnancy, and Postpartum Directive as well as some of the changes.

  • Postpartum Body Composition Exemption (existing but modified; required by NDAA FY20)

    • The body composition exemption is increased from 180 days to 365 days after the conclusion of pregnancy. 

  • Physical Fitness Testing Exemption (existing but modified; required by NDAA FY22)

    • Soldiers will be exempt from taking a record physical fitness test while pregnant and for a year after pregnancy. 

  • Pregnancy and Postpartum Service Uniform Exemption; (existing but modified)

    • There will be exemptions for pregnancy and postpartum.

    • Child Development Program facilities may be designated as “No-Hat, No-Salute” areas.

  • Operational and Training Deferments (existing but modified; required by NDAA FY21)

    • They want to ensure that at least one parent is home with their Child so all birth parents (Soldiers who physically give birth) are deferred or excused for 365 days after the birth of their Child from deployments, mobilizations, field training, and other types of military assignments. 

  • Professional Military Education (PME) (NEW)

    • A pregnancy profile will not disqualify a Soldier from being selected as an honor graduate or commandant list selectee. 

  • Location Accommodations (existing but modified)

    • Commands will need to provide lactation breaks and designated location areas for lactating Soldiers. 

  • Fertility Treatments (NEW)

    • Soldiers will be stabilized from a PCS or a deployment for up to 365 days from their first appointment while receiving fertility treatments. 

  • Pregnancy Loss (NEW)

    • Convalescent leave after a birth event, miscarriage, or stillbirth. This will apply to the Soldier or the Spouse of a Soldier.

  • Family Care Plans (FCPs) (existing but modified)

    • Soldiers will be given at least three weeks’ notice for duty requirements outside of the normal duty hours as well as for significant changes to the Soldier’s normal duty hours.

  • Active Duty Operational Support (ADOS) (NEW)

    • Pregnant Soldiers will be eligible to apply and compete for ADOS tours despite their medical readiness classification 3 status. 

  • Paid Parental Leave in the Reserve Component (NEW; required by NDAA FY21)

    • Birthparents will be granted 12 paid UTAs (Unit Training Assemblies) within a year after giving birth. They will also be allowed 4 UTAs that will be unpaid but could be rescheduled. 

  • Education of Leaders (NEW)

    • Pregnancy, postpartum, and parenting training will be incorporated throughout all pre-command courses. 

For more detailed information, refer to Army Directive 2022-06 (Parenthood, Pregnancy, and Postpartum).

Eligibility

Army Reserve Service Members on Active Duty and eligible Family members have no costs for maternity care under any TRICARE Prime option. Others (including those enrolled in TRICARE Select, TRICARE Reserve Select (TRS), TRICARE Retired Reserve (TRR), TRICARE Young Adult (TYA) Select, the Continued Health Care Benefit Program (CHCBP), and retirees, their Family members and all others) have copayments and/or cost-shares. For detailed cost information, go to https://www.tricare.mil/costs.

Except for Active duty Service Members, beneficiaries with a TRICARE Prime option may use the point-of-service (POS) option to self-refer to an obstetrician but will pay higher out-of-pocket costs. For more information about the POS option, go to https://www.tricare.mil/pointofservice.

Benefit Highlights

Prenatal Care
Prenatal care: Care received from the time you find out you are pregnant until delivery. Schedule an appointment with your primary care provider at the earliest signs of pregnancy. Depending on your health plan option, this may be your assigned primary care manager (PCM).

Regular appointments with your doctor are important to make sure you and your baby are healthy. At the first appointment, you'll find out the due date and explore your health history. Frequent prenatal visits allow you to follow the progress of your pregnancy and your baby's development and gives you the opportunity to ask questions along the way.

While all medically-necessary prenatal care is covered, there are some limitations.

Antepartum Services
TRICARE covers the following services to determine the health of the baby or if you have a high-risk pregnancy:

  • Amniocentesis

  • Cordocentesis

  • Chorionic villus sampling

  • Fetal stress test

  • Electronic fetal monitoring

Ultrasounds
Doctors often perform ultrasounds at different times during pregnancy for different reasons. TRICARE will cover ultrasounds used to:

  • Estimate gestational age

  • Evaluate fetal growth

  • Conduct a biophysical evaluation for fetal well-being

  • Evaluate a suspected ectopic pregnancy

  • Define the cause of vaginal bleeding

  • Diagnose or evaluate multiple gestations

  • Confirm cardiac activity

  • Evaluate maternal pelvic masses or uterine abnormalities

  • Evaluate suspected hydatidiform mole

  • Evaluate the fetus's condition in late registrants for prenatal care

TRICARE does not cover maternity ultrasounds for routine screening or to determine the sex of the baby.

Labor and Delivery
TRICARE covers medically-necessary services during your labor and delivery including anesthesia, fetal monitoring, and other services required for your care during your stay. TRICARE will cover a cesarean section when needed.Newborn baby If you choose to have a cesarean section instead of vaginal delivery for personal reasons, you may be responsible for some of the costs.

Facility/Provider
Usually, your TRICARE plan determines the type of birthing facility you will use (military or civilian, office-based or freestanding, etc.). Options for the type of provider who delivers your baby include: obstetrician, Family practice provider and or Certified nurse midwife, etc.

Length of Stay
Minimum of 48 hours after a vaginal delivery and 96 hours after a cesarean section. Complications may require a longer stay.

Post-partum Care
Post-partum care is the care after the baby is born. TRICARE covers a minimum of two post-partum visits. More visits are covered if medically necessary.

Other Considerations

  • Leave: The Military Parental Leave Program (MPLP) provides non-chargeable leave entitlements following the birth or adoption of a Child. The policy applies to Soldiers who are birth mothers and fathers, same-sex couples, as well as adoptive and surrogate parents

  • DEERS: Beginning from the Child’s birthdate or date of adoption you have 90 days within the Continental United States (CONUS) and 120 days Outside Continental United States (OCONUS) to register in DEERS. Once registered you have an additional 90 days to enroll in or change health plans.

  • Newborn Care: Services provided for your infant are covered separately from the parent. TRICARE offers well-childcare for children under age 6 (from birth through age 5), which includes:

    • Circumcision (before leaving hospital)

    • Routine newborn care

    • Comprehensive health promotion and disease prevention examinations

    • Vision and hearing screenings

    • Height, weight and head circumference

    • Immunizations

    • Developmental/behavioral appraisal 

Be sure to schedule your newborn's first well-child appointment before you leave the hospital.

Additional Information
Document Review Date: 22 February 2022