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Reproductive Health: Travel and Transportation Allowances for Non-Covered Reproductive Health Care

Travel and Transportation Allowances for Non-Covered Reproductive Health Care

Q1:

What is a covered abortion and what is a non-covered abortion?

A:

The Department of Defense defines a covered abortion is an abortion, either medical or surgical, where the life of the mother would be endangered if the fetus were carried to term or in a case in which the pregnancy is the result of an act of rape or incest.

A non-covered abortion is an abortion, either medical or surgical, that does not meet the criteria of a covered abortion.

 

Q2:

What is included in Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART)?

A:

For the purposes of these policies, ART includes:

  • Ovarian stimulation and egg retrieval, including any needed medications and procedures required for retrieval, processing and utilization for ART or cryopreservation
  • Sperm collection and processing for ART or cryopreservation
  • Intrauterine insemination (IUI)
  • In vitro fertilization (IVF) inclusive of the following procedures for beneficiaries when clinically indicated:
    • In vitro fertilization with fresh embryo transfer
    • Gamete intrafallopian transfer (GIFT)
    • Zygote intrafallopian transfer (ZIFT)
    • Pronuclear stage tubal transfer (PROST)
    • Tubal embryo transfer (TET)
    • Frozen embryo transfer

Q3:

What is the new policy on travel and transportation allowances for non-covered reproductive health care? What is non-covered reproductive health care?

A:

Service members and eligible dependents may be authorized travel and transportation allowances to access non-covered reproductive health care services when timely access to non-covered reproductive health care services is not available within the local area of the member’s permanent duty station, temporary duty location, or the last location the dependent was transported on authorized government orders.

Non-covered reproductive health care is defined in policy as lawfully available assisted reproductive technology and non-covered abortion. Non-covered reproductive health care is at the patient’s expense.

More information on this policy is available at: www.health.mil/EnsuringAccesstoReproductiveHealth.

Q4:

Who is eligible to request travel and transportation allowances under the new policy? What information is required in the request?

A:

For non-covered ART, travel and transportation allowances for Service members (including Active Duty Service members and Reserve Component Service members on active duty orders for 180 days or more) and spouses of such Service members receiving care may be authorized when the non-covered ART procedure is substantiated in documentation by the licensed health care provider or clinic that will be performing the ART services. Funded travel can be requested by Service members for their own, or their spouse’s, care and may include a non-medical attendant to accompany either the Service member or spouse, when necessary. Substantiating documentation provided by the traveler to the approving official (AO) must include details of the procedures to be performed, dates of consultation appointments and/or procedures, and include any of the following: identification of a treatment plan schedule, medical diagnosis, and patient names to verify eligibility. The non-covered reproductive health care is at the patient’s expense.

For non-covered abortion, travel and transportation allowances for Service members (Active Duty Service members, Reserve Component Service members on active duty orders for more than 30 consecutive days, and Service academy cadets and midshipmen) and dependents of such Service members receiving care may be authorized when a licensed medical provider has validated the pregnancy and substantiating documentation is provided. Funded travel can be requested by Service members for their own, or their dependent’s, care and may include a non-medical attendant to accompany either the Service member or dependent, when necessary. The non-covered reproductive health care is at the patient’s expense.


Q5:

What allowances are authorized?

A:

Service members may be authorized standard travel and transportation allowances as detailed in the Joint Travel Regulations par. 033001.

Eligible dependents and escorts may be authorized the actual cost of lodging, the actual cost of meals, and round-trip transportation between the Service member’s permanent duty station or last location the dependent was transported on authorized government orders and the non-covered reproductive health care service care location. The non-covered reproductive health care is at the patient’s expense.

Q6:

Can a Service member request travel and transportation allowances for non-covered reproductive health care to receive a covered abortion?

A:

Service members who are eligible for a covered abortion may seek care at their local military medical treatment facility and do not need to request travel and transportation allowances under this policy. Existing processes are in place to fund travel for Service members who must receive covered care outside the local area.

Q7:

As a Commander, what is my role and responsibility with regards to the new policy on travel and transportation allowances for non-covered reproductive health care?

A:

It is the responsibility of Commanders or approval authorities to meet operational requirements and protect the health and safety of those in their care. Commanders or approval authorities are expected to display objectivity, compassion, and discretion when addressing all health care matters, including reproductive health care matters, and have a duty to enforce existing policies against discrimination and retaliation in the context of reproductive health care choices.

Commanders must protect the privacy of protected health information, and information shall be restricted to personnel with a specific need to know.


Q8:

If a Service member has a dependent that is still covered by TRICARE, living in a state that restricts access to reproductive health services, will the Department pay for their travel to the nearest location that has such care available?

A:

Active duty Service members and their dependents are eligible to request and receive funded travel when non-covered reproductive health care services are not available locally.

Q9:

In order to receive travel allowances, does a dependent’s sponsor need to be involved in the process?

A:

Yes. For the Dependent Invitational Travel Order, certain conditions apply. Travel authorizations/vouchers are processed for the family member of a Service member. The sponsor can receive reimbursement for the dependent's transportation and approved travel expenses. Either the sponsor or a Defense Travel Administrator will assist with document processing as the dependent may have no access to DoD travel systems like the Defense Travel System or MyTravel.

Q10:

What if a Service member’s Unit Commander denies their request?

A:

Service members whose requests for travel and transportation allowances for non-covered reproductive health care may appeal their request in accordance with applicable Military Service policy.

Last Updated: January 30, 2024
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