Tricare Help

Do we need DNA test to get baby on father’s Tricare?

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I just had a baby by a solider. He told me that in order for our son to be covered by his military benefits, paternity needs to be established by DNA because we are not married. Is that true?

If the soldier acknowledges the baby as his and has put his name on the birth certificate as the father, then no paternity testing is required.

You can get all the information you need to make the baby eligible for Tricare and other military benefits by contacting the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS). Your soldier can do this by visiting the ID Card/DEERS office of any military installation or by calling the main DEERS support office toll-free at 1-800-538-9552.

Pregnant, but baby isn’t estranged husband’s; am I covered?

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My husband walked out more than six months ago and I haven’t seen or heard from him since. Our divorce is pending, but not yet final, and I know I am still covered by Tricare until the divorce is final. Now, I have just found out I am pregnant, and he is not the father. Am I still eligible for maternity care? Will a paternity test be required? Will he have access to the medical records? Our divorce will definitely be final several months before the due date.

As long as a spouse is legally married to an active-duty service member or military retiree, the spouse is eligible for Tricare coverage, assuming they are properly registered in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System.

In your specific case, if your divorce will indeed be finalized prior to the birth of the child, the paternity of the child is irrelevant because you will be seeking only pre-natal and maternity care for yourself during your remaining period of Tricare eligibility.

Your question about whether your husband will have access to your medical records is a legal issue outside the scope of our Tricare Help column. I believe normal privacy laws would apply, but you would have to verify that with a lawyer.

You can check your DEERS status by visiting the ID Card/DEERS office of any military installation or by calling the main DEERS support office at 1-800-538-9552.

Just discovered I am baby’s father; how can I get the child covered quickly?

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Through DNA testing, I recently discovered that a 7-month-old girl is my daughter. It will take up to three months to get the birth certificate changed to show I am the father because DEERS will not take the DNA results as proof. The Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity also can only happen with the corrected birth certificate. How do I get my daughter medical coverage in the meantime? I am not married to the mother.

I’m afraid you can’t get Tricare coverage for your child under your sponsorship until DEERS has the proper documentation and your child is properly registered in the DEERS database. I’m sorry I don’t have better news.

Will Tricare require a paternity test?

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I am an active-duty Marine. My fiancée just told me she is pregnant, and we are planning to get married in a few months, after I complete my MOS school but before the baby is born. My staff sergeant told me that because my fiancée got pregnant before we were married, Tricare will require a paternity test, even if we get married before the baby is born. Is that true?

Your staff sergeant is incorrect. Once you marry your fiancée, the baby’s paternity is irrelevant for the purposes of Tricare, because Tricare covers both biological children and step-children of active-duty service members.

Your fiancée becomes fully eligible for Tricare on the day you are married. In order for her to use Tricare benefits, however, she must be properly registered in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System, the Defense Department’s eligibility portal for Tricare. You can do this at the ID Card/DEERS office of any military installation, or by calling the main DEERS support office at 1-800-538-9552.

Once properly registered, your fiancée will be fully covered for all maternity care as well as the actual birth of the baby. Once the baby is born, he or she is also fully covered by Tricare and can use the benefits once properly registered in DEERS.

Will Tricare cover my paternity test?

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I have a 6-month-old daughter, but I need a paternity test to prove she is mine before I can get her put into DEERS. Does Tricare cover paternity tests?

Tricare covers most inpatient and outpatient care that is medically necessary. Paternity tests may be legally necessary in any number of scenarios, but they are not medically necessary. As such, Tricare does not cover them.

Will Tricare pay for active-duty service member’s paternity test?

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I am on active duty. Does Tricare covers paternity tests, or do I have to pay out of pocket?

Does Tricare cover paternity tests? Well, yes and no. It depends on who is involved and the reason for the test.

Active-duty personnel are not generally eligible for civilian medical services at government expense under Tricare. They must be referred by their military hospital. That is unlikely to happen if the medical service is one that their military hospital can provide.

I suggest that you ask the Tricare Office at your military hospital. In that way, you can discuss the matter and explain the situation, in complete confidence.