TRICARE Immunizations and Physicals Help Parents and Children Get Ready for School
The sun is setting on summer fun and thoughts are turning toward a new school year. TRICARE beneficiaries will be scheduling physicals and making sure their kids get their shots. Most primary schools in the United States require students to have an annual physical and to be up-to-date on immunizations before starting the school year. Parents should check their school district’s enrollment requirements.
TRICARE covers necessary physical exams children ages 5-11 need to enroll in school, and age-appropriate immunizations recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Immunizations are the most effective way to prevent disease and complications from disease, especially among young children. August is Immunization Awareness Month, the perfect time to make sure children get immunized before heading back to school.
TRICARE covers immunizations at no cost to beneficiaries if they get them at a TRICARE-authorized provider or participating TRICARE network pharmacy. To find a pharmacy or provider that participates in the vaccine program and to see a list of covered immunizations go to www.tricare.mil/immunizations.
Parents should keep in mind that immunizations aren’t just important for elementary school-aged children; babies and teens also need to stay fully vaccinated. CDC’s website has information about which immunizations are recommended up to age 18, and why. To see a complete list of CDC-recommended immunizations for children from birth until adulthood, and for more information about immunizations go to www.cdc.gov/vaccines/parents/index.html. A downloadable parent’s guide is also available at www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/parents-guide/downloads/parents-guide-508.pdf.
TRICARE beneficiaries should visit their primary care physician for a school physical. For help finding a new doctor or to get specific information on coverage for physicals, beneficiaries should contact their regional health care contractor. Get phone numbers to all of TRICARE’s regional health care contractors at: www.tricare.mil/ContactUs. For more information on how TRICARE helps to prepare for heading back to school, please visit www.tricare.mil/backtoschool.