FACT CHECK: Will Tricare Provide Free Baby Formula And Ship It Directly To Anyone Who Applies?
A post shared on Facebook over 830 times claims military health care provider Tricare will ship free baby formula out to those who fill out a form.
Tricare only offers free baby formula to those with medical necessities under a doctor’s order, according to a statement from the health care provider.
The Food and Drug Administration is attempting to ease an ongoing national baby formula shortage, in part by reopening a large formula manufacturer in Michigan, according to NPR. The agency expects the shortage to improve “in the next couple of months,” Yahoo Finance reported.
One Facebook post claims that Tricare, a health care program for U.S. military personnel and their families, introduced a program that would “supply baby milk for free based on how much the child consumes within the month.” The post claims that those interested would simply need to have their pediatrician fill out a form.
The post is misleading. While Tricare does provide baby formula to some beneficiaries through a contract with the company Military Medical Supplies (MMS), according to an article published by Military.com, this formula is only distributed to those who have received a doctor’s order.
“We were really caught off guard here because we don’t advertise or anything of that nature,” David Scheidt, owner of MMS, told Military.com about the claims. (RELATED: Can You Get Free Baby Formula During The COVID-19 Pandemic By Calling The Company?)
Tricare posted a disclaimer banner on its website refuting the viral claims. “While TRICARE covers formulas and vitamins for enrollees with metabolic disorders, TRICARE doesn’t cover regular baby formula for otherwise-healthy infants,” the disclaimer reads.
The banner also states the program does not “directly ship baby formula to beneficiaries” and encourages those concerned about a child with medical needs to work with their primary care specialists or pediatricians to secure the necessary formula.