Breastfeeding supplies to become more accessible through TRICARE provider in 2018
(Photo: Unsplash, Kelly Sikkema)

Many TRICARE changes are in store for 2018, but at least one will make life easier, not more complicated. For military women using TRICARE for breastfeeding supplies, the process to receive covered pumps and miscellany will become smoother starting January 1.

The Breastfeeding Shop, currently an authorized out-of-network breast pump and breastfeeding supply provider for TRICARE, will become an in-network provider in the new year. (Full disclosure: The Breastfeeding Shop is an MOC client.)

For CEO Patty Gatter, the new distinction is affirmation of their quality service for military mothers. “We have a lot of good reviews, positive support–we love helping this population. It’s a passion of mine, personally,” she says.  Gatter says that being an out-of-network provider has not affected their services, but being an in-network provider will make things more “seamless” when it comes to authorizations and communication between TRICARE and the Breastfeeding Shop.

This year, the Breastfeeding Shop has expanded their offerings, making it easier for customers to order online or via phone. They’ve hired more customer service representatives as well.

In addition to becoming an in-network provider in 2018, the Breastfeeding Shop is launching an app to make the process a little easier for new moms or moms-to-be. While the app isn’t available just yet, the program will allow users to order breastfeeding supplies and pumps from it. It’s currently approved by Google; the Apple approval is ongoing.

For Gatter, serving the military is a family matter. Her grandfather, great-grandfather, and father-in-law served and she sees providing military families with breastfeeding supplies as a personal calling. “We’re here to address any needs,” she says. “Our intentions are to fully be supportive of the military and provide them with the most that their benefits can provide.”

By J. G. Noll