TRICARE and You: Adoptions, stepchildren, and foster children

Have you recently adopted a child, will you soon have stepchildren as part of your family, do you want to be a foster parent? It is important to understand the benefits for these children so they can receive the appropriate care and coverage. This post outlines some of the questions and answers you may have regarding adoptions, stepchildren, and foster children.

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This blog is the most recent in a series helping members of the Coast Guard family understand how to use their TRICARE benefits. The blog series will continue every Monday, right here on Coast Guard All Hands.

A crewmember from the Coast Guard Cutter Vigorous embraces his children July 11, 2016, in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The cutter's crew returned home following a 55-day deployment in the Eastern Pacific Ocean in support of the Coast Guard's Western Hemisphere Strategy. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Melissa Leake.
A crewmember from the Coast Guard Cutter Vigorous embraces his children July 11, 2016, in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The cutter’s crew returned home following a 55-day deployment in the Eastern Pacific Ocean in support of the Coast Guard’s Western Hemisphere Strategy. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Melissa Leake.

Written by Lt. j.g. Colleen McCue

Navigating TRICARE can be overwhelming at times. The Health, Safety, and Work-Life Service Center want to ensure your child receives the appropriate care and coverage for adoptions, stepchildren, and foster children.

 

Adoption

Question: Will TRICARE cover my adopted child?
Answer: Yes, TRICARE will cover the adopted child until their 21st birthday. Coverage may be extended to an unmarried child of a TRICARE-eligible sponsor until reaching age 23 if:

1) The child is a college student enrolled in a full-time course of study at an approved institution of higher learning, and
2) The sponsor provides over 50 percent of his or her financial support

Question: What type of health plan is available to my adopted child?
Answer: Your child’s health plan depends on their sponsor’s military status and where you live.

Question: How do I register my adopted child into DEERs?
Answer: A record of adoption or court documentation letter of placement of the child into the home by a recognized placement/adoption agency or the court before the final adoption.

Question: How long do I have to enroll my child?
Answer: An adoptee will be enrolled in Prime at the time of adoption if one family member is already enrolled in Prime. A responsible representative has 60 days to officially enroll the child to the Prime option. If the adoptee is formally enrolled in Prime within the 60 day period, the effective date of enrollment will be the first day of the month following the date of adoption. If not enrolled during the 60 day calendar period, the adoptee will revert to a non-enrolled beneficiary effective the 61st day applying TRICARE cost-shares and deductibles.

Question: If I am adopting an infant, will I be eligible to receive breast pumps and supplies?
Answer: Yes, this coverage is extended for a female beneficiary who legally adopts an infant and intends to personally breastfeed to adopted infant.

 

Stepchildren

Question: Will TRICARE cover my stepchild?  
Answer: Yes, TRICARE will cover medical care for the stepchild. The sponsor does not have adopt the stepchild if married to the stepchild’s parent.

Question: What happens if the sponsor and parents get a divorce?
Answer: The stepchild’s coverage will end on the date the divorce decree is final.

 

Foster Children

Question: Will TRICARE cover my foster child?
Answer: TRICARE will cover a legally adopted child and a child placed as a legal ward of the court in the home of the sponsor.

Question: Who can I speak with to receive more information?
Answer: Call the Coast Guard’s Health Benefits Advisor Line at 800-9-HBA-HBA or call TRICARE at 1-800-TRICARE.

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TRICARE image

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