It's High Time You Realized...
You Are NOT Alone!

Through the Family-To-Family Connection and Featured Families, Cleft Advocate's mission to educate and empower families touched by clefts and other craniofacial anomalies continues.

Be sure to also visit our growing Photo Gallery!

Comments or questions?  Contact us!

For more support...

Air Force Wives Website

Army Wives Website

Navy Wives Website

Marine Wives Website

EFM Family Connections

What is TRICARE?

TRICARE is the managed health care program serving active and retired military personnel, their families, and certain other beneficiaries.  Only those individuals registered with DEERS are eligible for TRICARE.



TRICARE Standard (formerly CHAMPUS)

TRICARE Overseas

Details of each program can be found in the TRICARE Handbook.

There are 4 TRICARE regions to serve you.

TRICARE Fact Sheets


TRICARE Coverage Relating to
Cleft Lip and Palate

Tricare Coverage as it relates to cleft lip/palate

Plastic or Reconstructive Surgery

Dental Care
TRICARE Dental Overseas

Genetic Testing

Hearing Aids and Exams (from Exclusions section)
Hearing Aids - There is an exception under the Program for Persons with Disabilities. (See the section titled “Program for Persons with Disabilities.”).  Hearing Examinations - They are not covered unless it is connection with surgery or some medical problem or under the Program for Persons with Disabilities. But there are hearing examinations under the well-child care benefit.

Orthodontia (from Exclusions section)
Orthodontia - Exceptions exist in limited cases, such as when related to the surgical correction of a cleft palate.

Speech Therapy (from Exclusions section)
Speech Therapy - Speech therapist services are authorized when prescribed by a physician and are part of treatment for the physical defect, and not part of any educational or occupational deficit.

What if we are referred to a cleft/craniofacial team or other specialist far from home?

TRICARE Prime Travel Entitlement

Accommodations at Fisher House

Special Programs
Program for Persons with Disabilites (PFPWD)

Important Contacts and
More Useful Links

US Department of Defense Article
Parents of Special Needs Children
Need to Do Homework

Specialized Training of Military Parents
Listserv at
Toll-free:  1-800-5PARENT
Sierra Vista Office (520) 249-3775
Fort Campbell, KY Regional Office (270) 640-9000
Collect calls accepted f
rom anywhere in the world.

STOMP - Washington PAVE
6316 So. 12th Street
Tacoma, WA 98465
Phone:  (253) 565-2266
Toll-free:  1-800-5-PARENT
Fax: (253) 566-8052

Military Acclimate

Military Assistance Program (MAPs)

Military Spouse Resource Center

Military Teens on the Move

Military Family Resource Center

Operation Hero Miles

Free Phone Cards

Air Force CrossRoads

This is Your Chance to Educate Others
While You Educate Yourself!

Do you remember what it was like when your baby was born, or your adopted child came home, or you discovered through ultrasound that your child would have a cleft?

Become a Pathfinder!
The Pathfinder Program will help you to establish and maintain an outreach/support network in your area.  There are no hard, fast rules...just an outline easily tailored to your local needs and a springboard to get started.  Sign up here!

Then join us for our Pathfinder Overview and Training via LIVE Webinar!

Second Monday of Every Month!
1:00 PM Eastern
Get the details!

The tWebinar is FREE; however parties are responsible
for their own long-distance charges.
In addition to learning about feeding, surgery, recovery and more, our military families are faced with a unique maze of insurance and administrative requirements.  Here are links to the most important and most widely-used military sites to help navigate the system.

Thanks to the many cleftAdvocate military families who contributed to this information!  If you have a link to add, please contact us!

Department of Defense Special Needs Parent Toolkit

What is DEERS?

The Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System(DEERS) is your first step in enrolling your newborn or newly-adopted child in the database.  This is a necessary step to ensure your child's eligibility for TRICARE.

Visit your military installation's personnel office, access the DEERS website, or update your records using this toll-free number:  1-800-538-9552

Also remember to contact DEERS when you have a change of address, or your family status changes through marriage or divorce.

Read more about newborn Enrollment.

What is EFMP?

The Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) is a mandatory program for all active duty personnel.  EFMP identifies family members with medical and/or educational special needs and considers those needs when considering assignment locations.

EFMP Managers 

EFMP Coordinators
Navy EFMP Handbook

Marine Corps
EFMP Coordinators

Air Force
Special Needs Coordinators

National Guard 
Family Coordinators


Federal law governs your child's education and special needs.

Early Intervention
Educational and Developmental Intervention
Services Directory

NOTE: If you live in the US on an installation that has no DoD school, or off an installation, you must contact the local Part C provider to access services.  See our Resources map for more information.

Sure Start

Head Start

Special Education
Points of Contact (Includes DoD Schools)
Special Education Coordinators

Thank you for your dedicated service!
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This cleftAdvocate page was last updated March 25, 2014
Navigating the Military Health Care System
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