Skip main navigation

Military Health System

Clear Your Browser Cache

This website has recently undergone changes. Users finding unexpected concerns may care to clear their browser's cache to ensure a seamless experience.

Beat the Back-to-School Rush: TRICARE Preventive Health Checks for Kids

Image of Beat the Back-to-School Rush: TRICARE Preventive Health Checks for Kids. Whether your child needs a school physical or you want to check on their development, TRICARE covers many preventive health services at no cost to your family.

FALLS CHURCH, Va. – Summer is a great time to take care of health checkups for your kids. Your child’s school likely requires students to get an annual health exam and be up to date on vaccines. With a new school year around the corner, don’t delay medical appointments for your kids.

“Most schools have mandatory health standards children must meet each school year,” said Jeannine Pickrell, RN, nurse consultant for Disease Management & Population Health at the Defense Health Agency. “It helps to get required back-to-school health checks before the last minute. Summer vacation is also a perfect time to get other health care services for your kids, like dental and eye exams.”

Whether your child needs a school physical or you want to check on their development, TRICARE covers many preventive health services at no cost to your family. Below is important information about back-to-school checkups for your kids.

Follow school health care requirements

Check with your child’s school for their health policy. Depending on these requirements, you may need to schedule more than one office visit for your child.

For the youngest children, TRICARE covers well-child exams from birth until age 6. Starting at age 6, TRICARE covers physicals required for school enrollment. TRICARE doesn’t cover annual sports physicals, which are separate from school physicals.

Even if your child’s school doesn’t require a physical, kids can still get preventive checkups. Annual Health Promotion and Disease Prevention (HP&DP) exams are available to any TRICARE enrollee over age 6.

TRICARE also covers routine immunizations, also known as vaccinations. Your provider will review your child’s immunization records to confirm your child is up to date and meets school requirements. You can get covered vaccines from any TRICARE-authorized provider at no cost. However, you may have to pay copayments or cost-shares for other services received during the same office visit. You can also get some covered vaccines at no cost at TRICARE retail network pharmacies. At retail network pharmacies, make sure a pharmacist gives the vaccines to avoid potential out-of-pocket costs.

Get additional wellness checkups

There’s more to your child’s wellness than a routine physical can detect. Use this extra time to check all aspects of their health.

For example, you can schedule an appointment with your child’s dentist. Your TRICARE health plan doesn’t include dental coverage. However, active duty family members and National Guard and Reserve family members can purchase dental coverage through the TRICARE Dental Program (TDP). TDP covers two routine dental cleanings in a consecutive 12-month period for children ages 1 and older, as described in the TRICARE Dental Program Handbook. You can enroll in TDP at any time.

Your child may also be able to get a routine eye exam. This depends on their beneficiary status, health plan, and age. Children of active duty service members can get annual eye exams. Children of retired service members with TRICARE Prime can get routine eye exams every two years.

Some children are also eligible for dental or vision coverage through the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP). If your child has FEDVIP coverage, be sure to follow the rules of that plan.

Find a provider

Do you need to find a new doctor or dentist for your kids? TRICARE’s Find a Doctor tool can help you find nearby providers. If you have TDP, you can use the Find a Dentist tool to search for local TDP network dentists.

When you visit the provider, make sure to mention any concerns about your children’s health. By taking time this summer to focus on your children’s health, you can help them get off to a good start this school year.

Would you like the latest TRICARE news sent to you by email? Visit TRICARE Subscriptions, and create your personalized profile to get benefit updates, news, and more.

You also may be interested in...

Jul 7, 2023

Immunization Awareness: MMR

Measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) - two does of MMR vaccine are 97% effective against measles and 88% effective against mumps.

Children should get two doses of MMR vaccine, starting with the first dose at 12 months. It’s also important teens and adults remain up to date on their MMR vaccination. Check out the #MMR vaccine resource center: #ImmunizationAwarenessMonth #Vaccines #MilVax

Jul 7, 2023

Immunization Awareness: Whooping Cough Vaccination

Whooping cough vaccination - whooping cough, or pertussis, is known for uncontrollable violent coughing which often makes breathing difficult. CDC recommend whooping cough vaccine for people of all ages.

Whooping cough can affect people of all ages, but can be very serious, even deadly, for babies less than a year old. The best way to protect against whooping cough is by getting vaccinated. The vaccine is given in a combination vaccine that also protects against tetanus and diphtheria. ...

Jul 7, 2023

Immunization Awareness: Travel

International Travel - COVID-19 Vaccines - CDC recommends you are up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines before travel

Wherever you’re heading, use the #CDC Travelers’ Health destinations tool to see what vaccines or medicines you may need and what diseases or health risks are a concern at your destination. #ImmunizationAwarenessMonth #Vaccines #MilVax

Jul 7, 2023

Immunization Awareness: Polio

Polio Vaccination - CDC recommends that children get four doses of polio vaccine, starting at age 2 months. Almost all children (99 out of 100) who get al the recommended does of polio vaccine will be protected from polio.

Thanks to widespread use of the polio vaccine, the United States has been polio-free since 1979. See for more information. #ImmunizationAwarenessMonth #Vaccines #MilVax

Jul 7, 2023

Immunization Awareness: Meningococcal

Meningococcal vaccine for college - some states, colleges and universities require meningococcal vaccination for certain students

CDC recommends meningococcal vaccination for first-year college students living in residence halls. Talk to your child’s health care provider to see if they recommend meningococcal vaccination. #ImmunizationAwarenessMonth #Vaccines #MilVax

Jul 7, 2023

Immunization Awareness: Shot Record

Shot record - ensure all vaccines are input into your or your child's health record

Proof of your child’s vaccine records is likely to be required when registering them for school, including colleges and technical schools, childcare, or sports. Learn more about finding and updating vaccine records at #ImmunizationAwarenessMonth #Vaccines #MilVax

Jul 7, 2023

Immunization Awareness: Homeschool

Vaccinations for homeschooler children - children receive immunizations early because they are susceptible to diseases at a young age. The consequences of these diseases can be very serious, even life-threatening, for infants and young children

Even young children cared for at home can be exposed to vaccine-preventable diseases, from parents, siblings, visitors to their home, on playgrounds, or even at the grocery store. Get answers to your questions about recommended vaccines for your kids at #ImmunizationAwarenessMonth #Vaccines #MilVax

Jul 7, 2023

Immunization Awareness: Catch-Up

Catch-up vaccination schedule - Make sure that your child sees their doctor for well-child visits and recommended vaccines.

If your child missed some vaccines along the way, talk to their health care provider about the best and quickest way to get up to date. #ImmunizationAwarenessMonth #Vaccines #MilVax

Jul 7, 2023

Immunization Awareness: Routine Childhood

Routine Childhood Vaccination Schedule - Childhood immunizations are given starting at birth through 4-6 years of age

The recommended childhood immunization schedule in the U.S. protects against 14 diseases. Easy-to-read routine childhood vaccination schedules and immunization recommendations are available at #ImmunizationAwarenessMonth #Vaccines #MilVax

Jul 7, 2023

Immunization Awareness: Chickenpox

Chickenpox Vaccination - The first doe is recommended at 12 through 15 months of age and the second dose at 4 through 6 years of age.

CDC recommends two doses of chickenpox vaccine for children, adolescents, and adults who have never had chickenpox and were never vaccinated. See for more information. #ImmunizationAwarenessMonth #Vaccines #MilVax

Jul 7, 2023

Immunization Awareness: Combination Vaccines

Combination Vaccines - You may be able to reduce the number of shots your child needs while protecting against the same number of serious diseases.

Some vaccines can be given together in one shot known as a combination vaccine. Talk to your health care provider about which combination vaccines might be right for you or your child. #ImmunizationAwarenessMonth #Vaccines #MilVax

Oct 14, 2022

CDC Flu Fact

 Fight the flu graphic

Suggested Social Media Message: The recommends antiviral drugs to treat illness in people who are sick with the flu and for those at who are at high risk of serious flu complications. webpage #FightFlu

Oct 4, 2022

Flu Shot Infographic

Flu shot infographic

Suggested Social Media Message: #DYK? It is safe to get your seasonal #Flu shot, and your #COVID-19 vaccination or booster at the same time! #FightFlu #GetVaccinated

May 25, 2022

Spread Facts, Not the Flu

Graphic with ways to prevent the flu

Suggested Social Media Message: Spread Facts not Flu! #GetVaccinated Learn more about Flu Vaccination here:

Skip subpage navigation
Refine your search
Last Updated: July 28, 2023
Follow us on Instagram Follow us on LinkedIn Follow us on Facebook Follow us on X Follow us on YouTube Sign up on GovDelivery