The following are thoughts and opinions of our Patient Ambassador Liz.
Since having my daughter, I have had to learn so much about how to navigate healthcare, specifically how to advocate for a tiny new human. Being a military spouse, you might hear horror stories of TRICARE, and I get it. Navigating the claims, referrals, and endless phone call holds can be overwhelming. I may never fully understand why or how TRICARE works, but I wanted to share the new things I learned TRICARE will cover for new moms with just a little work on our end.
- Breast Pump
If you didn’t know, TRICARE will cover one breast pump per pregnancy. That’s right, even if you’ve previously had a baby, you can still receive a new breast pump! There are many avenues to choosing and receiving your breast pump. I was asked to fill out my insurance information so my provider could be contacted for a referral, and I was approved to choose my breast pump! Additionally, I found out TRICARE also covered compression socks and a back/belly pregnancy band. Once they received the referral from my provider, the breast pump, socks, and band were shipped!
Personally, I opted for the Motif Duo, and I have loved it. Its size and battery life are travel friendly (any other military moms have experience pumping in the car on that first long road trip with a newborn?) and the 10 setting levels are great to help keep the session comfortable. Also, you are able to set up a pump session between the massage and expression settings, so you don’t even have to think about manually switching between the two modes.
- Replacement Pump Parts, Bottles, Breastmilk Storage Bags
It wasn’t until recently that I learned TRICARE would cover additional pumping and breastfeeding supplies. For a full list of items and the frequency at which TRICARE will cover them, click here. Below is a screenshot of the items covered. These items are covered from 27 weeks of pregnancy up until 3 years after birth.
On this page, you can also find out how to get these items covered. But the short answer is since these items are much easier to buy yourself than go through the hassle of getting a referral, you’ll need to submit a DD2642 with your receipt to get your money refunded.
You can confirm with your specific plan, too: TRICARE East: 1-800-444-5445; TRICARE West: 1-844-866-9378. As with all things TRICARE related, I would make copies of everything before sending off the claim. Even though this is somewhat of a tedious process, I do appreciate TRICARE continuing to broaden its coverage of things to help military families.
- Virtual Baby Feeding Support
Thanks to the TRICARE Childbirth and Breastfeeding Support Demonstration (CBSD), TRICARE recipients have access to free telehealth visits with lactation consultants. They can help you answer a wide range of questions new moms might have including nursing, pumping, formula, or transitioning to solids. SimpliFed is there to support you to reach your feeding goals, whatever they might be.
Personally, I found out about SimpliFed around 35 weeks pregnant. I scheduled my free prenatal consultation and learned so much about hand expression, colostrum, baby poop, and more. Having that knowledge really prepared me for all of the feeding challenges I soon faced with my daughter after her birth. Having the ability to text SimpliFed and talk with real people from home was so helpful, especially in those overwhelming initial postpartum days.
If you’re looking for support, SimpliFed can help no matter how you choose to feed your baby!
Text BOOB to 888-458-1364 to schedule your appointment today!