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Tricare Help: Limited options for unwed mother of soldier's baby

Aug. 16, 2012 - 08:59PM   |   Last Updated: Aug. 16, 2012 - 08:59PM  |  
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Q. I'm having a baby with a soldier. We are not married. Will Tricare cover the delivery? My insurance through my employer was terminated in my seventh month and I can't get coverage from another insurance company.

A. Unless you are married to the soldier, you are not eligible for any health care under Tricare, to include maternity care, delivery of the baby or any necessary postnatal care. The child, however, will be covered from the moment of birth as the military dependent of the soldier.

There is a slim possibility that the local military hospital at the installation where your soldier is stationed would agree to handle the birth, depending on the facility's staffing and patient load. Contact the patient administration office at the hospital to inquire about this.

You can confirm the Tricare eligibility status of you and your baby by calling the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System support office at 800-538-9552.

Q. We're planning a trip to Ireland. What if one of us needs to be medically evacuated back to the U.S.? Will Tricare for Life cover it?

For that reason, while on your trip, you need to save all medical bills, payment receipts, doctor's statements, copies of prescriptions and receipts, and the like. You'll need those documents to file a Tricare Standard claim for any medical services you receive outside the U.S. Tricare Standard will process claims for those services just as it always does, making the same payments and charging you the same cost shares and deductibles as if you did not have Medicare for those services.

Medical evacuation via air ambulance is a covered benefit under Tricare Standard. If the air ambulance company requires guarantee of payment, it's the responsibility of the beneficiary or his employer to provide the information. Once the medevac is complete, the air ambulance company must send the bill directly to the beneficiary, naming the beneficiary as the "bill to" patient name. The company can't submit the bill to Tricare on behalf of the beneficiary.

The beneficiary must then file a claim with International SOS (the overseas Tricare contractor) for processing. Once the bill is processed, International SOS will send payment to the beneficiary.

Once payment is received, the beneficiary is responsible for submitting payment to the air ambulance company to close out the claim.

More information on International SOS can be found at www.tricare-overseas.com.

Write to Tricare Help, Times News Service, 6883 Commercial Drive, Springfield, VA 22159; or tricarehelp@militarytimes.com. In email, include the word "Tricare" in the subject line and do not attach files. Get Tricare advice any time at www.militarytimes.com/tricarehelp.

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