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Xx5Xy1+ May 3rd, 2008 12:36 PM

Does anyone know if Tricare will pay for a midwife for home birth? We are currently in Germany and Im trying to gather as much information as I can regarding this before I get pregnant so I know ahead of time what Im in for.

Thanks in advance.

usmc_princess May 3rd, 2008 01:38 PM

I'm popping in from the August DDC, but just happened to see "Tricare" in your title and thought I'd see what the post was about...

You ask a really good question, and hopefully someone here has a true answer for you. I'd actually never thought about whether or not Tricare would (since I don't plan on having a home birth), but it is a very good question now that you have brought it up.

My guess would be that you would have to pay for at least some of the midwife care unless the midwife was military related in some way. (I think it would also depend on which Tricare plan you have.) I know that obviously we're free to visit civillian OB's if we wish, but in most cases it is at our own expense or I know some people who co-pay (and have a higher Tricare plan than most to do so). The same holds true for civilian hospitals as opposed to military hospitals... So I would assume it would be true for midwives as well; as I said, unless the midwife is military related.

I don't know if the military has midwives, they might... But if they don't I would imagine you'd have to cover the cost (or co-pay if you have a higher Tricare plan) since the midwife would be civillian.

Obviously all of that is my own assumption based on what I know of Tricare, but I would definitely be interested to know the actual answer. Perhaps giving your local Tricare office a call could help you in answering your question for sure. :)

Butter May 3rd, 2008 03:03 PM

I don't know. They DO pay for a midwife in a hospital (my sister had that). You need to call and ask.

LaLa May 4th, 2008 09:44 AM

They will pay for a midwife assisted homebirth & will also pay for a midwife attended hospital birth (especially since there are a lot of MWs in the military hospitals).

The key thing though is usually the way they "pay" for a MW assisted homebirth is through reimbursement - but its supposedly at full cost. Many MWs will work out a deal where they will only collect partial payment or will delay billing.

To get it paid up front they must be a CNM and be within the tricare network i think - supposedly there are only a handful of them and only 2 BC's that are covered under those guidelines. And the only way I know that is a friend of mine travelled to Alaska to get her birth covered that way (luckily she has family in some part of Alaska). Theres supposed to be 1 other group of MWs that are covered somewhere else int he states.

your other option is to switch to tricare prime - they will give you a hard time about it but you can do it - which means you can go off base for care. However, you have a little more leeway. You probably should find out who in your area does homebirths & what their credentials are & if youre near a military base, then theyll most likely have dealt with other military families & will be a little more familiar with how they hadnle it there.

But - in short - Tricare DOES pay for homebirths attended by a midwife.


andi2284 May 4th, 2008 04:32 PM

You may have more difficulty finding a homebirth midwife in Germany, I'm not sure how common the practice is there. If you know anyone who has had a homebirth, you can start there for reccomendations. Your best bet is to start with Tricare itself and find out what plans they will reimburse with. Standard is probably much more likely to cover a non-MTF practitioner. You can get it covered on Prime, but I believe you have to go through more to get there. Once you do dis-enroll from Prime though, you cannot re-enroll for a year, so check your options before you do that.
I was far from happy with my care throughout my pregnancy in the MTFs. I saw more OBs than I could count and it was just plain fustrating. We're not in the Army anymore, so we dont' have to deal with it, but I would find other options if I did.

rachelwilber May 4th, 2008 05:31 PM

I second everything that LaLa says but you need to switch to Standard not Prime. Prime is the one where it is totally free thru the military hospital. I know for a fact that they would pay for a MW because a few of my friends in Hawaii had there babies with a MW in the military hospital and I also knew a Sergent in the Marine Corps that had her babies at home. So I would call and talk to a Rep in the tricare office. Good Luck!

LaLa May 4th, 2008 11:24 PM

duh - sorry I got them backwards lol.


Xx5Xy1+ May 6th, 2008 07:38 AM

Thanks ladies. I'll definatly look into it.

As far as whats available around here, because all we have is a clinic, all OB's are referred offbase. I'm pretty sure there is at least a birthing center near here, so with any luck (once I'm pg) I can get a referal to them (as my back up plan... I refuse to deliver in a hospital again unless it is a life or death issue, and dh *THINKS* he's going to tell me I have to go to the hospital... that could get ugly, but thats a seperate post lol). Either way... there is a lady here (friend of a friend) who is a DOULA, so that will help too.

Again, thanks.

andi2284 May 6th, 2008 01:24 PM

It sounds like you are on the right track. I didn't know this before, but after watching that movie, it says that in Europe, 80% of births are attended by midwives. You will probably have better luck than you think finding one!

rachelwilber May 7th, 2008 07:02 PM


duh - sorry I got them backwards lol.

Heehee it happens to the best of us! :blush:

I just wanted to say Lala I enjoy reading your post because of your passion for things.

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