Skip to main content

Military Health System

TRICARE Answers Your Questions About Baby Formula

Image of Baby smiling. The shortage of baby formula is having an impact on millions of families, including military families. Learn what TRICARE does and doesn't cover.

Recommended Content:

Information for Patients: About TRICARE | Children's Health

FALLS CHURCH, Va.  –  The shortage of baby formula is having an impact on millions of families. This includes military families living in the U.S. and overseas. It's important you know what TRICARE does and doesn't cover. Here are a few questions and answers about infant formula coverage to help.

"The formula shortage is a concerning and challenging situation and one that the Defense Health Agency is taking seriously," said Elan Green, chief of TRICARE Health Plan's Member Benefits and Reimbursement Section. "We understand that parents are worried. We know that clear information can help you navigate this difficult time."

Q: Does TRICARE cover baby formula?
A: TRICARE covers baby formula that's medically necessary. This includes:

  • Regular infant formula for children who have feeding tubes (separately, TRICARE also covers specialized formulas for adults or older children with feeding tubes or who can't eat solid foods)
  • High-protein formula for infants on ketogenic diets to control seizures
  • Special formulas for those who can't digest certain foods or nutrients

Your child's doctor must diagnose and prescribe a special formula. Note: TRICARE doesn't cover formula for healthy infants and children.

Q: Who is eligible to get medically necessary formula?
A: If you meet conditions of coverage on medical foods, TRICARE may cover your specialty formulas or other medical foods. Remember that care must be medically necessary and appropriate. You can review the kinds of medically necessary foods that TRICARE covers by checking out the Nutritional Therapy page. The type of formula depends on the medical need.

Q: Does TRICARE ship formula?
A: No. TRICARE doesn't directly ship formula to families.

Q: How much does the prescribed formula cost?
A: Your costs for covered medical foods depend on your health plan. It also depends on your beneficiary category. Visit the TRICARE Costs page and look under "Medical Supplies" to learn more.

Q: What if I can't get my baby's prescription formula?
A: If you have a child whose medically necessary formula is unavailable, you should work with your pediatrician, primary care manager (PCM), or specialist such as a pediatric registered dietitian. TRICARE will cover your appointments to talk about options for your child.

Q: What suggestions are there for parents trying to feed their infants?
A: Do not attempt to make your own formula. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) "advises parents and caregivers to not make or feed homemade infant formula to infants. Homemade infant formula recipes have not been evaluated by the FDA and may lack nutrients vital to an infant's growth … The agency has received reports of hospitalized babies who had been fed homemade infant formula … which can be life-threatening." The FDA recommends asking your child's pediatrician, PCM, or specialist for guidance on changing your child's formula or feeding practices. You can go to the FDA website to find other recommendations and warnings for parents trying to find formula.

The American Academy of Pediatrics also encourages you to talk with your child's doctor if you have any concerns about your baby's health and nutrition. If your child has special health needs, be sure to check with their doctor about medically appropriate and safe feeding alternatives.

"We understand that this is a very stressful time for military families with babies," said Green. "Because TRICARE doesn't have a supply of infant formula, it's best you consult with your pediatrician, PCM, or specialist."

If you have questions about TRICARE covered services or costs, you can refer to the TRICARE website. You can also reach out to your TRICARE regional contractor for more information. Remember that your best resource for guidance and advice on your options is your child's health care provider.

You also may be interested in...

Memorandum to Establish 2022 Premium Rates

Policy

Policy Memorandum to Establish 2022 Premium Rates for TRICARE Reserve Select, TRICARE Retired Reserve, TRICARE Young Adult, and the Continued Health Care Benefit Program

TRICARE Prime and TRICARE Select Out-of-Pocket Expenses for Calendar Year 2020

Policy

Memo outlining the TRICARE Prime and TRICARE Select beneficiary out-of-pocket expenses for calendar year 2020. These rates will be effective January l, 2020.

Methodology Determination of 2020 Premium Rates for TRICARE Reserve Select

Policy

This document describes how the calendar year 2020 TRICARE Reserve Select (TRS) premium rates were calculated

Memorandum to Establish 2020 Premium Rates for TRICARE Reserve Select, TRICARE Retired Reserve, TRICARE Young Adult, and the Continued Health Care Benefit Program

Policy

Calendar Year 2020 premium rates are established for TRICARE Reserve Select, TRICARE Retired Reserve, TRI CARE Young Adult, and Fiscal Year 2020 premium rates for the Continued Health Care Benefit Program.

2019 Monthly Premium Rates for TRS, TRR, and TYA

Policy

Policy Memorandum to Establish 2019 Monthly Premium Rates for TRICARE Reserve Select, TRICARE Retired Reserve, and TRICARE Young Adult

Interim Final Rule: Establishment of TRICARE Select and Other TRICARE Reforms

Policy

This interim final rule implements the primary features of section 701 and partially implements several other sections of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017 (NDAA-17). The law makes significant changes to the TRICARE program, especially to the health maintenance organization (HMO)-like health plan, known as TRICARE Prime; to the preferred provider organization (PPO) health plan, previously called TRICARE Extra which is to be replaced.

Policy Memorandum to Establish 2018 Monthly Premium Rates for TRICARE Reserve Select and TRICARE Retired Reserve

Policy

This policy memorandum establishes the 2018 monthly premium rates for TRICARE Reserve Select and TRICARE Retired Reserve.

Policy Memorandum to Establish Calendar Year 2018 Premium Rates for the TRICARE Young Adult Program

Policy

This memo establishes the 2018 premium rates for the TRICARE Young Adult (TYA) Program. TYA premium rates are established annually on a calendar year basis in accordance with Title 10, United States Code, Section 11 lOb and Title 32, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 199.26.

Memorandum to Establish 2017 TRICARE Reserve Select and TRICARE Retired Reserve Rates

Policy

Calendar Year 2017 premium rates are established for TRICARE Reserve Select and TRICARE Retired Reserve as specified in the attachment. Please provide widest dissemination. This information can be found at www.tricare.mil/trs and www.tricare.mil/trr.

Memorandum to Establish 2017 Premium Rates for the TRICARE Young Adult Program

Policy

This memo establishes the CY2017 Premium Rates for TRICARE Young Adult

Memorandum to Establish 2016 Rates for TRICARE Young Adult Premiums

Policy

TRICARE Young Adult (TYA) premium rates are established annually on a calendar year (CY) basis in accordance with Title 10, United States Code, Section 1110b and Title 32, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 199.26.

DoD Directive 6010.04: Healthcare for Uniformed Services Members and Beneficiaries

Policy

This directive reissues DoD Directive (DoDD) 6010.04 (Reference (a)) to update established policy and assigned responsibilities for administering Title 10, United States Code (Reference (b)). It serves as the joint document for administration of healthcare benefits required pursuant to Reference (b), and is issued by the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, and Health and Human Services

ASD HA Memorandum 14-022 Policy Memorandum to Establish 2015 Premium Rates for the TRICARE Young Adult Program

Policy

TRICARE Young Adult (TYA) premium rates are established annually on a calendar year (CY) basis in accordance with Title 10, United States Code, Section 111Ob and Title 32, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 199.26. TYA monthly premiums for CY 2015 shall be the rates listed in this document.

Establishing TRICARE Reserve Select and TRICARE Retired Reserve Rates for 2015 Calendar Year

Policy

ASD (HA) Memorandum 14-015 - Establishing TRICARE Reserve Select and TRICARE Retired Reserve Rates for 2015 Calendar Year. This memorandum establishes the Calendar Year 2015 premium rates for TRICARE Reserve Select and TRICARE Retired Reserve as specified in the attachment. This information can be found at www.TRICARE.mil/trs and www.TRICARE.mil/trr.

Policy Memorandum to Establish 2014 Premium Rates for TRICARE Reserve Select and TRICARE Retired Reserve 13-009

Policy

TRICARE Reserve Select (TRS) premium rates are established annually on a calendar year (CY) basis in accordance with Title 10, United States Code (U.S.C.), Section (Sec.) 1076d and Title 32, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Part 199.24. The TRS monthly premiums for CY 2014 shall be the rates listed in the table inside this document.

<< < 1 2 > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 2
Refine your search
Last Updated: May 27, 2022
Follow us on Instagram Follow us on LinkedIn Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on YouTube Sign up on GovDelivery