How To Enroll Your Newborn In DEERS

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As a parent of a newborn baby, one of the first decisions you made was deciding on a name for your new son or daughter. As a beneficiary of the DoD Military Health System, the next decision you should make is to enroll your child in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) as soon as possible after birth.

A newborn infant is covered as a TRICARE Prime beneficiary in DEERS for the first 60 days after birth, as long as another family member is enrolled in TRICARE Prime or TRICARE Prime Remote. After the initial 60 days, any claim submitted for a newborn will process as TRICARE Standard until the infant is enrolled in DEERS and TRICARE Prime or the infant’s TRICARE Standard eligibility ends. TRICARE Standard benefits end 365 days after birth for any newborn not enrolled in DEERS.

To establish a newborn’s TRICARE eligibility in DEERS, you must submit a birth certificate and DD Form 1172, “Application for Uniformed Services Identification and Privilege Card,” signed by the sponsor to your personnel office. Then apply for your child’s Social Security number (SSN); for an application, go to or call 1-800-772-1213. Once you receive the SSN, visit your nearest ID card-issuing facility to update the information in DEERS.

Any changes that impact family status – such as marriage, divorce or a new child – must be reported to DEERS. Because DEERS enrollment is directly tied to TRICARE eligibility, care may be denied if the sponsor and family members are not enrolled.

For details, contact your nearest military personnel office, ID card issuer or the Defense Manpower Data Center Support Office at 1-800-538-9552.

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George Morris

In his 40-plus-year newspaper career, George Morris has written about just about everything -- Super Bowls, evangelists, World War II veterans and ordinary people with extraordinary tales. His work has received multiple honors from the Society of Professional Journalists, the Louisiana-Mississippi Associated Press and the Louisiana Press Association. He avoids debt when he can and pays it off quickly when he can't, and he's only too happy to suggest how you might do the same.