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Military Health System

Contraceptive Care Questions & Answers

TRICARE covers a full range of contraceptive methods, regardless of which health plan you have. And recent changes to TRICARE policies help make sure you'll have easy, convenient, and timely access to contraceptive services.

Frequently Asked Questions

What TRICARE Covers

Q1:

Does TRICARE pharmacy cover birth control?

A:

Yes. Your TRICARE pharmacy benefit covers the prescription contraceptives below:

  • birth control pill
  • birth control patch
  • birth control shot
  • birth control vaginal ring
  • cervical cap
  • diaphragm
  • foams, jellies, sprays, or sponges that need a prescription
  • Emergency contraceptives (e.g., Plan B or Ella)

To learn more about what is covered, review the Contraception Chart page. Use the TRICARE Formulary Search Tool to see costs.

Your TRICARE medical benefit covers the contraceptive methods below and any associated medical procedures:

  • birth control implant
  • insertion, removal, and repositioning of an IUD (intrauterine device)
  • vasectomy
  • tubal ligation

TRICARE doesn’t cover:

  • condoms (including female condoms)
  • foams, jellies, sprays, or sponges that don't need a prescription
  • hysterectomyA partial or total surgical removal of the uterus. It may also involve removal of the cervix, ovaries, Fallopian tubes, and other surrounding structures. hysterectomy  for the purpose of contraception
  • reversal of vasectomy, unless it's medically necessary
  • reversal of tubal ligation, unless it's medically necessary

To learn more, visit the Contraception Chart page.

Q2:

Is there a copayment waiver for contraceptive services?

A:

Yes. As of July 28, 2022, you no longer pay for the medical contraceptives below if you get the service from a TRICARE network provider:

  • Insertion, removal, and repositioning of an IUD (intrauterine device)
  • Birth control shot
  • Birth control implant
  • Diaphragm measurement and fitting

The TRICARE contractors process these claims with no copayment starting Nov. 1, 2022. Call your TRICARE contractor after 1 Nov. to ask them to reprocess claims for medical contraceptives services you received after 28 July. 

Under TRICARE Prime, you may receive care from a non-network provider if you have a referral from your Primary Care Manager before you get care.   

Q3:

Why isn't TRICARE waiving copayments for prescription contraceptives?

A:

Prescription cost-shares are set in law. Congress would have to change the law to waive copayments. Remember, you have no copayments when you fill a covered prescription at a military pharmacy.

Q4:

Could state abortion laws affect the use of IUDs (Intrauterine Devices)?

A:

DOD will continue providing IUDs and other contraceptive care in MTFs, consistent with federal law, regardless of state law restrictions. 

Q5:

Could state abortion laws affect getting emergency contraceptives like Plan B or ella?

A:

DOD will continue to provide Plan B, ella, and other contraceptive care in MTFs, consistent with federal law, regardless of state law restrictions.

Q6:

Do I need to see an OB/GYNs or can I go to my primary care provider for contraceptive services?

A:

You may be able to get most services from your primary care provider, (for example, prescription for birth control pills). Some trained primary care providers and women’s health providers may offer long-acting contraceptive products (LARCs). They include products like implants, shots, and IUDs. 

Q7:

Can I get emergency birth control pills through TRICARE Pharmacy Home Delivery?

A:

No. Home delivery isn’t for conditions where timing is critical.

Q8:

I paid for medical contraceptive services on or after July 28, 2022. Will TRICARE reimburse me?

A:

If you paid for one of the services below from a TRICARE network provider, call your TRICARE contractor and ask them to reprocess your claim. 

  • Insertion, removal, and repositioning of an IUD (intrauterine device)
  • Birth control shot
  • Birth control implant
  • Diaphragm measurement and fitting
Q9:

Does TRICARE cover tubal ligation?

A:

Yes. If you get this service before January 2023, you will pay a copayment or cost-share. Starting January 2023, you won’t pay anything for a tubal ligation if you get the service from a TRICARE network provider?

Q11:

What emergency contraceptives are covered and where can I get them?

A:

Military pharmacies and the TRICARE pharmacy benefit cover oral emergency contraceptives, such as Plan B One-Step and ella.

  • Non-prescription emergency contraceptive. Plan B One-Step is available at military pharmacies or retail network pharmacies.
    • You don’t need a prescription.
    • There is no copayment.
  • You may buy it in many military exchanges, pharmacies, and other local retailers. You must file a claim for reimbursement.
  • If you buy these from a non-network retail network pharmacy, you may file claims with the pharmacy contractor for possible reimbursement at the non-network retail pharmacy rate.
  • Prescription emergency contraceptive. ella is available, with a prescription, at military or retail network pharmacies. You will pay a copayment at retail network pharmacies. (Active duty service members don’t pay for any prescription drugs.) 

At a retail network pharmacy, you (or a friend or partner picking up for you) must provide documentation of patient identity and TRICARE eligibility. This is generally a Uniformed Services ID card. The pharmacy needs this to process purchase as a TRICARE Pharmacy claim. Use the TRICARE Formulary Search Tool to get cost information.

Q12:

Does TRICARE cover prescription birth control?

A:

Yes. You may have to pay a copayment for pharmacy contraceptives—like birth control pills and patches—depending on where you fill your prescription. (Active duty service members don’t have to pay for prescription drugs.)

TRICARE covers prescriptions through its pharmacy benefit.

Q13:

How much do I pay for birth control?

A:

For prescription contraceptives (for example, birth control pill or diaphragm) you pay your pharmacy copayment. Use the TRICARE Formulary Search Tool to see your costs.

Medical Contraceptives:

Starting Nov. 1, 2022, you won’t pay for the medical contraceptives below if you get the service from a TRICARE network provider. The change goes back to July 28, 2022. If you paid for one of the services on or after July 28, 2022, call your TRICARE contractor and ask them to reprocess your claim.

  • Insertion, removal, and repositioning of an IUD (intrauterine device);
  • Birth control shot; and
  • Birth control implant.

If you’re enrolled in TRICARE Prime and you use a non-network provider without a referral, you will pay the higher Point of Service costs.  

For a vasectomy or tubal ligation (tubes tied), your costs depend on:

  • Who you are (active duty family member, retiree, etc.);
  • Your beneficiary group (group A or B); and
  • Which plan you're using (TRICARE Prime, TRICARE SelectTRICARE Select is a self-managed, preferred provider network plan. TRICARE Select is a fee-for-service option in the United States that allows you to get care from any TRICARE-authorized provider.  Enrollment is required to participate.TRICARE Select, TRICARE Prime Overseas, TRICARE Reserve Select, etc.).

Note: Starting Jan. 1, 2023, you will not pay anything for tubal ligation if you get the service from a TRICARE network provider.

Q14:

Is the Department of Defense taking steps to make it easier to get contraceptive services at military hospitals or clinics?

A:

Yes. By Jan. 2023, every military hospital or clinic must have a contraceptive care clinic. You won’t need an appointment to get services at these clinics. The clinics will offer the full range of contraceptive methods and services. Priority will go to active duty service members, then other beneficiaries on a space available basis. This includes both short and long acting contraceptives.

  • Short acting examples: birth control pill, patch, or ring
  • Long acting examples: intrauterine devices (IUDs), implants, and shots
Q15:

How many military hospitals or clinics have contraceptive care clinics?

A:

As of Oct. 1, 2022, 18 military hospitals or clinics stateside and overseas have a contraceptive care clinic. It’s open at least one day per week. 

Walk-In Contraceptive Services

Q1:

What are walk-in contraceptive services?

A:

A resource within a military hospital or clinic where you can come during set hours to get comprehensive contraceptive care in a single visit. This is a place where you can discuss your reproductive thoughts, goals, and contraception needs with a medical provider. Together, you will decide on the option that meets your reproductive needs. This service is designed to be a single appointment reducing the need for referrals and multiple appointments. 

Q2:

What is the purpose of walk-in contraceptive services?

A:

Walk-in contraceptive services improve access to contraceptive care and counseling, which is an essential part of beneficiaries’ health care. Reproductive health decisions, including family building and menstrual regulation, are important parts of overall health, wellness, and quality of life. 

Q3:

When will my military hospital or clinic’s walk-in contraceptive services be available?

A:

Before or by the end of January 2023. Check your military hospital or clinic website for information on when their walk-in contraceptive services will be available.

Q4:

Am I guaranteed to be seen on the day I arrive at a walk-in contraceptive services location?

A:

Walk-in appointments are based on availability. Visit your military hospital or clinic website for walk-in contraceptive services hours of operation. If there is no available time on the day you arrive, you have the option of coming back for the next available walk-in appointment.

Q5:

Where can I find my military hospital or clinic’s walk-in contraceptive services?

A:

Check your military hospital or clinic website to find your specific walk-in contraceptive services location once operational.

Q6:

Where can I find my MTF’s walk-in contraceptive services hours?

A:

Check your military hospital or clinic website to find hours of operation for walk-in contraceptive services at your military hospital or clinic.

Q7:

Do I need an appointment?

A:

No. Check the

military hospital or clinic website

for hours and days of operation at your location. 

Q9:

Will I get to see a doctor?

A:

Walk-in contraceptive services will be staffed with health care personnel that may include physicians, certified nurse midwives, nurse practitioners and/or physician assistants who are trained and educated in the full range of contraceptive methods, to include appropriate credentialing for long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARC) placement.

Q10:

Who can use walk-in contraceptive services?

A:

All active duty service members are able to use walk-in contraceptive services. Also, on a space available basis, eligible beneficiaries who can get pregnant (for example, women, transgender males, non-binary individuals) can also use the walk-in services.

Q11:

Can eligible beneficiaries under 18 use walk-in contraceptive services?

A:

Can eligible beneficiaries under 18 use walk-in contraceptive services? Yes, if space is available. Check the military hospital or clinic website for hours and days of operation at your location.

Q12:

What services can I get at a walk-in contraceptive service location?

A:

Walk-in contraceptive services will include: 

  • Pregnancy screening
  • Contraception counseling
  • Access to a full range of contraceptive methods for pregnancy prevention or menstrual suppression including: 
    • Short-acting reversible contraceptives (SARCs) (for example, pill, patch, ring)
    • Hormonal and non-hormonal long-acting reversible contraceptives LARCs (for example, subdermal contraceptive implants, intrauterine devices [IUDS])
    • Emergency contraception (for example, oral levonorgestrel, Plan B), ullipristal acetate (ella), and IUDs
  • Education on menstrual suppression, which may assist active duty service members before deploying
  • Education on barrier contraception (for example, condoms, diaphragms, vaginal caps)
  • Education on natural family planning
  • Access to testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections
Q13:

What if I need to fill a prescription after my walk-in contraceptive visit?

A:

You can get your prescriptions at a military pharmacy, retail network pharmacy, or via home delivery. TRICARE doesn’t pay for condoms, gels, foams or creams. You will need to buy these items.  

Q14:

What do I do if I need a follow-up appointment after visiting a walk-in contraceptive services location? For example, what if I have a problem with an IUD or diaphragm?

A:

You can send a secure message to the provider you saw at the walk-in location. The provider may make a recommendation for a follow-up visit. You may also make a primary care or same-day appointment. If it’s an urgent issue or concern, go to the nearest urgent care or emergency department.

Q15:

Do I have to use walk-in contraceptive services to get birth control or other contraceptive services?

A:

No. You can get contraceptive care in primary care, family medicine, adolescent pediatrics, and women’s health clinics. You may need a referral for some of the specialty clinics and you may have to wait for an available appointment. 

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Last Updated: December 02, 2022
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