The formula shortage is impacting families all around the United States. For military families, this impact follows them around the world wherever they are stationed as the military commissaries are also impacted by the supply chain issues in stocking formula in their overseas stores. TRICARE recognizes this impact.
Which baby formula is covered by Tricare?
As soon as the formula shortage was felt by military families around the world, a prescription for formula was circulating stating that families could get any formula covered for their children. This is not the case. TRICARE does cover baby formula that is medically necessary. This includes infant formula for children (including older children) who have feeding tubes and require formula for eating. High protein formula for infants on ketogenic diet to control seizures and special formulas for children who cannot digest certain foods or nutrients are also covered.
TRICARE does not cover formula for healthy infants or children who do not meet the above guidelines.
What if the formula isn’t available?
If the prescription specifies a type of formula that is not available, talk with your child’s medical provider. The provider may be able to provide other options that will be covered.
What about Nutritional Therapy?
The types of nutritional therapy including medically necessary treatments are listed on the TRICARE website here. Oral, enteral and parental nutritional therapy may be covered with prescriptions.
Will TRICARE ship formula?
What about making your own formula?
Making your own formula is not recommended by the Food and Drug Administration as the homemade infant formula recipes have not been evaluated by their organization for safety and nutrient amount. The FDA recommends talking to your child’s medical provider about any diet changes you are considering.
The hope is that the supply chain breakdown will improve in about two months, the time it takes for production to increase and the supply provided to local area grocery stores. Time will tell what the recovery period will be. If there are any questions about possible TRICARE coverage, contact your TRICARE regional contractor.