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TRICARE now provides breast pumps, lactation counseling and more

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Cheyenne Morigeau bottle feeds her daughter at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base Ariz., July 21, 2015. TRICARE is now covering breast pumps for expecting mothers as well as reimbursing moms who purchased one after Dec. 19, 2014. Expecting mothers are authorized one standard or electric breast pump per birth. Hospital grade breast pumps are available for mothers who have a medical reason requiring one. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Angela Ruiz/ Released)

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Cheyenne Morigeau bottle feeds her daughter at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base Ariz., July 21, 2015. TRICARE is now covering breast pumps for expecting mothers as well as reimbursing moms who purchased one after Dec. 19, 2014. Expecting mothers are authorized one standard or electric breast pump per birth. Hospital grade breast pumps are available for mothers who have a medical reason requiring one. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Angela Ruiz/ Released)

DAVIS-MONTHAN AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. -- Mothers that choose to breast feed their infants might be surprised to learn that TRICARE updated its coverage to include breast pumps and supplies as of July 1.

TRICARE can aid expecting Desert Lightning Team mothers through the process to obtain a breast pump and supplies. There are multiple methods to receive a pump or to be reimbursed for one that was purchased after Dec. 19, 2014.

Expecting mothers who have TRICARE, to include adoptive mothers who plan to breastfeed, can request one standard or electric breast pump per birth. Hospital grade breast pumps are available for those who have a medical reason requiring one.

Breast pump supplies can be purchased up to three years after the birth event. These supplies include: bottles, bottle caps, storage bags, shield and splash protectors, locking rings, tubing and tubing adaptors, and standard power adapters.

TRICARE however doesn't cover: breast pump batteries, breast pump cleaning supplies, baby bottles, travel bags, baby weight scales, over the counter ointments, or nursing bras and other similar products.

"To obtain a breast pump, expecting mothers would need a prescription indicating which type of pump they need by their off-base OB provider," said Bill Howard, 355th Medical Group health benefits advisor. 

Active duty mothers require a referral from their primary care manager whereas military dependent mothers only require a prescription, according to the health and benefits advisor.  They can then take the prescription to a TRICARE-authorized provider, supplier or vendor that includes retail and online stores to obtain a pump.

Mothers can also go through their PCM to receive a pump. Their PCM will submit a referral for the pump, once approved; the pump will be delivered to the mother's home with no out of pocket expense.

For those who have already purchased a breast pump after Dec. 19, 2014, can be reimbursed when they submit a completed DD form 2642, the itemized receipt, and prescription to the TRICARE claims processer. If you no longer have TRICARE but purchased a pump and were still under their coverage you can still be reimbursed.

Not only did TRICARE add breast pumps to their coverage but they also included lactation counseling services.

Mothers can receive an additional six outpatient counseling sessions per birth event.
If the mother saw a TRICARE authorized provider for lactation counseling they can be reimbursed through the same claims process as the breast pumps.

For additional information and to find and submit the DD form 2642 visit www.tricare.mil/CoveredServices/IsItCovered/BreastPumpsSupplies.aspx.

If you have further questions, you can contact the TRICARE's West Region contractor UnitedHealthcare Military & Veterans Call Center at 1-877-988-9378 or visit their website at www.uhcmilitarywest.com. 

You may also contact the 355 MDG health benefits advisor at (520) 228-2634.