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Get kids ready for back to school with preventive health care

Don’t wait to take command of your children’s health. Prioritize preventive exams and vaccinations before the school year begins. Preventive services, routine immunizations, and health screenings are the best ways to make sure your kids are healthy and ready to hit the books. (U.S. Air Force photo by L.A. Shively) Don’t wait to take command of your children’s health. Prioritize preventive exams and vaccinations before the school year begins. Preventive services, routine immunizations, and health screenings are the best ways to make sure your kids are healthy and ready to hit the books. (U.S. Air Force photo by L.A. Shively)

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As summer draws to a close, it’s time to look ahead to the approaching school year. Preventive services, routine immunizations, and health screenings are the best ways to make sure your kids are healthy and ready to hit the books. TRICARE covers many preventive health care services with no out-of-pocket costs to you. How you get preventive care depends on who you are and your TRICARE plan.

If your child is enrolled in a TRICARE Prime plan, you can seek preventive care from his or her primary care manager or any TRICARE network provider in your region. If a network provider isn’t available, you can also use a non-network provider with no copayments if you have a referral and authorization. Under a TRICARE Select plan, you can visit any TRICARE-authorized provider.

Follow these tips to make sure your children are healthy as they head to school in the fall:

  • Schedule appointments for school physicals and routine immunizations before the start of the school year. TRICARE covers physicals when required for school enrollment. This doesn’t include sports physicals.
  • Make sure that your child is current on his or her vaccines. Most schools require up-to-date vaccinations. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, vaccines reduce your child’s risk of infection by helping them safely develop immunity to diseases. You can get covered vaccines from any TRICARE-authorized provider at no cost. But you may have to pay copayments or cost-shares for the office visit or for other services received during the same visit. You can get some covered vaccines at TRICARE retail network pharmacies. Remember, TRICARE covers well-child exams for children up to age 6 (from birth through age 5).
  • Get eye exams before school begins. Healthy vision helps your child see clearly and to learn in school. Your vision benefits, including eye exams, depend on who you are, your TRICARE health plan, and your age. You may need a referral and authorization for vision care. If you have vision coverage through the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP), follow the rules of your plan.
  • Put dental check-up on your to-do list. TRICARE offers dental coverage to active duty family members through the TRICARE Dental Program (TDP). According to the TRICARE Dental Program Handbook, TDP covers two routine cleanings and two fluoride treatments during a 12-month period for children ages one and older. If you have dental coverage through FEDVIP, follow the rules of your plan. 

Don’t wait to take command of your children’s health. Prioritize preventive exams and vaccinations before the school year begins. Help you and your children stay healthy. And find out more about the preventive services that TRICARE covers to prevent serious diseases.

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