A-Z of Healthcare Coverage

What treatment is funded by the MOD?

You are entitled to all medically necessary treatment that would be available to you on the NHS. 
 
Please note that this does not grant entitlement to all procedures available on the NHS. Elective procedures (i.e. procedures that are not medically necessary) are not funded. 
 
This is in accordance with the Statement of civilian personnel policy on healthcare, welfare and compassionate travel while overseas, which states that ‘the MOD will only meet the cost of necessary and essential medical/dental treatment and tests’, and JSP 468 which states that the standard of healthcare received overseas (rather than the span of care) must be in line with that available on the NHS (NHS England is used as the benchmark). Current guidance from the Secretary of State is that only essential treatment should be funded (overseas) by the MOD; any elective treatment should wait until the employee or dependant returns to the UK where, if available on the NHS, it will be funded from NHS resources.
 
Please also remember that most healthcare facilities in the US are privately owned businesses. American doctors may recommend a more complex or superior treatment for a medical problem than would be available on the NHS. NHS doctors are also more conservative in recommending some treatments that are widely available in the US. 
 
Please see the A-Z index below for more information on what is specifically funded by the MOD.
 
If you are unclear whether a particular treatment is funded by the MOD, please contact the Healthcare and Education Department. We can then clarify your entitlement with Defence Medical Services in the UK.
 
*All medical care must be obtained from a provider who is in the Aetna Choice POS II network. All treatment obtained from an out-of-network provider will be a personal expense unless you have received authorisation from the Healthcare and Education Department at the Embassy to use a non-Aetna provider*
 
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AbortionThe MOD will fully fund abortion. Clinics offering abortions are not widely available in the US. If you need to terminate your pregnancy, please contact the Healthcare and Education Department for guidance and assistance.
AccupunctureAcupuncture is not funded by the MOD. Any treatment you or your child has will be a personal expense.
Allergy testingTesting for allergies is fully funded by the MOD, provided the tests are also available on the NHS. Basic tests (such as skin prick tests and blood tests) are automatically authorised; therefore there is no requirement to contact the Healthcare and Education Department if your/your child’s doctor orders any. If your physician/your child’s physician recommends any extensive testing, please contact the Healthcare and Education Department to ensure this is covered. Testing for food intolerances is not funded by the MOD.
Allergy treatment​Medication to treat allergies is fully funded by the MOD, provided it is also available on the NHS. Prescription medication and injections to treat allergies are automatically covered; therefore there is no requirement to contact the Healthcare and Education Department if you are prescribed medication or receive any injections that would be available on the NHS. Please note that the ‘talking’ Auvi-Q epipen (with voice instructions) is not available on the NHS; therefore it will not be funded by the MOD.
AmbulanceEmergency transport is fully funded by the MOD and is automatically authorised. There is no requirement for you to contact the Healthcare and Education Department. ​Non-emergency journeys by ambulance (e.g. transfers between hospitals) must be pre-authorised and will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Please contact the Healthcare and Education Department to request authorisation.
Anti-malarial tabletsMalaria prevention medication is not available on the NHS in the UK. Instead, it is provided by private prescription. If you are travelling to an area where malaria is prevalent for leisure, the MOD will not fund malaria prevention medication. You will need to pay the full cost of the medication to the pharmacist. If you are travelling to an area where malaria is prevalent on business, the MOD will fund the full cost of the medication. Please inform the Healthcare and Education Department of your requirement for anti-malarial drugs if this is the case.
AromatherapyAromatherapy is not funded by the MOD. Any treatment you or your child has will be a personal expense.
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Birth controlContraceptive pills and devices requiring a prescription are fully funded by the MOD provided they are also available on the NHS. If you are unsure about the availability of your contraception on the NHS, please contact the Healthcare and Education Department. Since there is no NHS prescription charge for birth control, you will not be charged a co-pay when you fill your prescription at a pharmacy. Routine cervical smear/Pap smear tests are only funded by the MOD once every three years for women aged 25-49 and once every five years for women aged 50-64 and are automatically authorised at this frequency; however your doctor may require you to have an annual cervical smear test in order to receive your prescription for contraception. If this is the case, please contact the Healthcare and Education Department to obtain authorisation to have more frequent tests. ​
Birthing poolThe use of a birthing pool for a midwife-led home delivery will only be funded by the MOD if authorised by the Defence Medical Services (DMS). DMS take into consideration the midwife’s qualifications (funding is only approved for Certified Nurse Midwives) and whether a home birth would be offered as an option to the mother in the UK (funding would not be approved if there were medical risks (to the mother or child) involved in a home birth or water birth). Please contact the Healthcare and Education Department if you wish to use a birthing pool.
Blood tests​Blood tests ordered by a medical provider to diagnose an illness or monitor an existing condition are fully covered by the MOD. They are automatically authorised; therefore there is no requirement to contact the Healthcare and Education Department if your doctor orders any tests. No routine blood testing is funded by the MOD. Please note that ‘wellness testing’, which often involves blood tests (e.g. lipid panel, blood sugar level, blood count, chemistry panel), is routine for Americans, therefore if your doctor recommends any routine blood testing you must tell them that you are not covered for this unless you are prepared for it to be a personal expense.
Boarding school childrenIf your child is at boarding school in the UK, they are covered for care at an Emergency Room only while visiting you on a School Children’s Visit in the United States. They are not eligible to receive any routine or non-urgent care in the US at the MOD’s expense. This includes routine medical, dental and optical exams. Any routine treatment must be done in the UK. Please note that your child is not automatically enrolled in the MOD’s civilian healthcare plan, administered by Meritain Health. If they fall ill, proceed to the nearest Emergency Room and contact the Healthcare and Education Department as soon as possible so that we can enrol them in the plan retrospectively.
Bowel cancer screeningA routine colonoscopy is fully funded by the MOD once every two years for individuals over the age of 55. Routine colonoscopies are automatically authorised at this frequency; therefore there is no requirement to contact the Healthcare and Education Department if you wish to have one. The frequency limitation and age requirement can be waived if a parent or sibling has had bowel cancer. If this is the case, please inform the Healthcare and Education Department to ensure your treatment is funded. If you do not meet the age requirement and have a routine colonoscopy, it will be a personal expense.
Breast pumpsIf you are given a breast pump (hand-operated or electric) to use whilst you are still in the hospital following the birth of your baby, this will be funded by the MOD. Once you (the mother) have been discharged from the hospital, hire or purchase of a breast pump (manual or electric) will be at your own expense and will not be funded by the MOD. In the UK, new parents are expected to purchase or hire their own breast pump, even when the use of one has been recommended by a doctor.
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Caesarean sectionThe MOD will only fund medically necessary scheduled or emergency caesarean sections. Elective scheduled caesarean sections that are not medically necessary are not covered and are a personal expense. If you have been told by your doctor that your baby needs to be delivered by caesarean section, or you have an emergency caesarean section, please inform the Healthcare and Education Department for authorisation and to ensure your treatment is funded.
Cervical smear testRoutine cervical smear/Pap smear tests are fully funded by the MOD once every three years for women between the ages of 25 and 49, and once every five years for women aged 50 to 64. They are automatically authorised at this frequency; therefore there is no requirement to contact the Healthcare and Education Department if you wish to have one.   Your doctor may require you to have an annual cervical smear test before prescribing contraceptives. If this is the case, please contact the Healthcare and Education Department to obtain authorisation to have more frequent tests. If your mother or sister has had cervical, uterine or ovarian cancer you may be authorised to have more frequent exams. If this is the case, please contact the Healthcare and Education Department to obtain authorisation to have more frequent tests. When you go for your appointment, please ensure you tell the doctor that you are only covered for a Pap smear. Your doctor may recommend other tests, such as the HPV (human papilloma virus) test, however these will not be funded by the MOD unless your Pap smear result is abnormal. If your Pap smear displays any abnormalities, please contact the Healthcare and Education Department to obtain authorisation for additional tests.​
ChiropodyAn initial consultation with a chiropodist is automatically covered by the MOD’s healthcare plan, and does not require prior authorisation from the Healthcare and Education Department. Any further appointments and treatment require authorisation from Defence Medical Services. You must contact the Healthcare and Education Department in order to initiate the approval process. If you do not receive prior authorisation for appointments and treatment all costs will be a personal expense.
Chiropractic careChiropractic care is not funded by the MOD. Any treatment you or your child has will be a personal expense.
ColonoscopiesA routine colonoscopy is fully funded by the MOD once every five years for individuals over the age of 55 as part of the screening process for bowel/colorectal cancer. Routine colonoscopies are automatically authorised at this frequency; therefore there is no requirement to contact the Healthcare and Education Department if you wish to have one. The frequency limitation and age requirement can be waived if a parent or sibling has had colon disease or a non-routine colonoscopy has been recommended by your physician to diagnose an illness or monitor an existing condition. If this is the case, please inform the Healthcare and Education Department to ensure your treatment is funded. If you do not meet the age requirement and have a routine colonoscopy, it will be a personal expense.
Colorectal cancer screeningA routine colonoscopy is fully funded by the MOD once every two years for individuals over the age of 55. Routine colonoscopies are automatically authorised at this frequency; therefore there is no requirement to contact the Healthcare and Education Department if you wish to have one. The frequency limitation and age requirement can be waived if a parent or sibling has had colon disease. If this is the case, please inform the Healthcare and Education Department to ensure your treatment is funded. If you do not meet the age requirement and have a routine colonoscopy, it will be a personal expense.
Contact lenses: adultsContact lenses for adults are not funded by the MOD.​​
Contact lenses: children​If your child is aged 18 or under and in full time education, and is prescribed contact lenses, you are entitled to claim the equivalent of an NHS voucher amount. Please see ‘Optical care’ (under ’Children – MOD UKBC Healthcare’) for further guidance.​
ContraceptivesContraceptive pills and devices requiring a prescription are fully funded by the MOD provided they are also available on the NHS. If you are unsure about the availability of your contraception on the NHS, please contact the Healthcare and Education Department. Since there is no NHS prescription charge for birth control, you will not be charged a co-pay when you fill your prescription at a pharmacy. Routine cervical smear/Pap smear tests are only funded by the MOD once every three years for women aged between 25 and 49 and once every five years for women aged 50 to 64 and are automatically authorised at this frequency; however your doctor may require you to have an annual cervical smear test in order to receive your prescription for contraception. If this is the case, please contact the Healthcare and Education Department to obtain authorisation to have more frequent tests.
Convalescent facilities​Care at a convalescent facility is not funded by the MOD. Any care you or your child has will be a personal expense.
Cosmetic surgeryCosmetic surgery is not funded by the MOD. Any treatment you or your child has will be a personal expense.
CounsellingCounselling appointments are not widely available on the NHS. If your Primary Care Physician/your child’s Primary Care Physician has referred you/your child to see a counsellor, please contact the Healthcare and Education Department as any appointments will require authorisation. If you do not receive prior authorisation for appointments all costs will be a personal expense.
Cryotherapy (freezing of warts)The routine use of Cryotherapy for warts or Verrucae is fully funded by the MOD as available on the NHS. The use of Cryotherapy for cosmetic purposes is not funded by the MOD and will be a personal expense.
CT scansA CT scan ordered by a medical provider to diagnose an illness or monitor an existing condition is fully covered by the MOD. They are automatically authorised; therefore there is no requirement to contact the Healthcare and Education Department if your doctor orders a scan.
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Dental: bridgesThe MOD will only fund pre-authorised bridge work. Adults will be responsible for a Band 3 co-pay (NHS contribution). If your dentist has recommended a bridge as part of a treatment plan costing under $5,000, the consultant dentist at Meritain Health must approve the work. If your dentist has recommended a bridge as part of a treatment plan costing over $5,000, Defence Dental Services must approve the work. If you do not receive prior authorisation all costs will be a personal expense.
Dental: crownsThe MOD will only fund pre-authorised crown work. Adults will be responsible for a Band 3 co-pay (NHS contribution). If your dentist has recommended a crown as part of a treatment plan costing under $5,000, the consultant dentist at Meritain Health must approve the work. If your dentist has recommended a crown as part of a treatment plan costing over $5,000, Defence Dental Services must approve the work. For children, silver crowns on baby teeth must be approved by the consultant dentist at Meritain Health. If the work is authorised, the MOD will fully fund the treatment. If you do not receive prior authorisation all costs will be a personal expense.
Dental: denturesThe MOD will only fund pre-authorised dentures. You will be responsible for a Band 3 co-pay (NHS contribution). If your dentist has recommended dentures as part of a treatment plan costing under $5,000, the consultant dentist at Meritain Health must approve the work. If your dentist has recommended dentures as part of a treatment plan costing over $5,000, Defence Dental Services must approve the work. If you do not receive prior authorisation all costs will be a personal expense.
Dental: emergency treatmentDental emergencies are considered severe pain requiring medication, bleeding & hemorrhaging, infection or the painful breaking or chipping of a tooth. Treatment for dental emergencies can be sought without prior notice being given to the Healthcare and Education Department, Meritain Health or Defence Dental Services and will be funded by the MOD. All relevant co-pays (NHS contributions) for adults will apply. Emergency treatment can include temporary crowns. Any follow up treatment, including permanent crowns, is not considered emergency treatment and requires approval.​
Dental: extractionsThe MOD will only fund pre-authorised tooth extractions. Adults will be responsible for a Band 2 co-pay (NHS contribution). If your dentist has recommended any extractions as part of a treatment plan costing under $5,000, the consultant dentist at Meritain Health must approve the work. If your dentist has recommended any extractions as part of a treatment plan costing over $5,000, Defence Dental Services must approve the work. If you do not receive prior authorisation all costs will be a personal expense. For children, extractions of baby teeth must be approved by the consultant dentist at Meritain Health. If the extractions are authorised, the MOD will fully fund the treatment. Wisdom teeth extractions for adults and children are subject to a different approval process. Please see ‘Dental: Wisdom teeth’ within this document for further guidance.
Dental: fillingsFor adults, the MOD will fund up to three fillings without authorisation. Up to three fillings are automatically authorised; therefore there is no requirement to contact the Healthcare and Education Department. You will be responsible for a Band 2 co-pay (NHS contribution). If your dentist recommends more than three fillings, the MOD will only fund the treatment if pre-authorisation has been received. If your dentist has recommended more than three fillings as part of a treatment plan costing under $5,000, the consultant dentist at Meritain Health must approve the work. If your dentist has recommended more than three fillings as part of a treatment plan costing over $5,000, Defence Dental Services must approve the work. If you do not receive prior authorisation all costs will be a personal expense. For children, the MOD will fund any number of fillings without authorisation. They are automatically authorised; therefore there is no requirement to contact the Healthcare and Education Department.
Dental: fluoride treatmentFluoride treatments for adults are not funded by the MOD. Any treatment you have will be a personal expense. Fluoride treatments for children are fully funded by the MOD. They are automatically authorised; therefore there is no requirement to contact the Healthcare and Education Department.
Dental: implants​Implants are not funded by the MOD. Any treatment you or your child has will be a personal expense.
Dental: onlaysThe MOD will only fund pre-authorised onlays. You will be responsible for a Band 3 co-pay (NHS contribution). If your dentist has recommended an onlay as part of a treatment plan costing under $5,000, the consultant dentist at Meritain Health must approve the work. If your dentist has recommended an onlay as part of a treatment plan costing over $5,000, Defence Dental Services must approve the work. If you do not receive prior authorisation all costs will be a personal expense.
Dental: oral examFor adults, the MOD will fund one routine oral exam every 12 months. This includes the exam, prophylaxis (basic clean and polish) and any x-rays as required by your dentist. Routine oral exams are automatically authorised; therefore there is no requirement to contact the Healthcare and Education Department. You will be responsible for a Band 1 co-pay (NHS contribution). For children, the MOD will fund one routine oral exam every six months. This includes the exam, prophylaxis (basic clean and polish) and any x-rays as required by your dentist. Routine oral exams are automatically authorised; therefore there is no requirement to contact the Healthcare and Education Department.
Dental: orthodontic treatmentOrthodontic treatment for adults is not funded by the MOD. Orthodontic treatment for children will be fully funded by the MOD if it has been pre-authorised by Defence Dental Services. If you do not receive approval for your child’s orthodontic treatment all costs will be a personal expense.​
Dental: periodontal/deep cleaningThe MOD will only fund pre-authorised periodontal/deep cleaning. Adults will be responsible for a Band 2 co-pay (NHS contribution). If your dentist has recommended periodontal/deep cleaning as part of a treatment plan costing under $5,000, the consultant dentist at Meritain Health must approve the work. If your dentist has recommended periodontal/deep cleaning as part of a treatment plan costing over $5,000, Defence Dental Services must approve the work. If you do not receive prior authorisation all costs will be a personal expense.​
Dental: prophylaxis (basic clean and polish)For adults, the MOD will fund one basic clean and polish every 12 months. Prophylaxis is automatically authorised; therefore there is no requirement to contact the Healthcare and Education Department. You will be responsible for a Band 1 co-pay (NHS contribution). For children, the MOD will fund one basic clean and polish every six months. Prophylaxis is automatically authorised; therefore there is no requirement to contact the Healthcare and Education Department.​
Dental: root canalsThe MOD will fund root canal work. Adults will be responsible for a Band 2 co-pay (NHS contribution). Root canals are automatically authorised; therefore there is no requirement to contact the Healthcare and Education Department if your dentist wants to perform root canal treatment.
Dental: sealantsSealants for adults are not funded by the MOD. Any treatment you have will be a personal expense. Sealants for children are fully funded by the MOD. They are automatically authorised; therefore there is no requirement to contact the Healthcare and Education Department.​
Dental: teeth whiteningTeeth whitening is not funded by the MOD. Any treatment you or your child has will be a personal expense.
Dental: veneersVeneers are not funded by the MOD. Any treatment you or your child has will be a personal expense
Dental: wisdom teeth​The MOD will only fund pre-authorised wisdom teeth extractions for both adults and children. Adults will be responsible for a Band 2 co-pay (NHS contribution). If your dentist has recommended the extraction of your wisdom teeth Defence Dental Services must approve the work. If you do not receive prior authorisation all costs will be a personal expense.
DermatologyAn initial consultation with a dermatologist is automatically covered by the MOD’s healthcare plan, and does not require prior authorisation from the Healthcare and Education Department. Any further appointments and treatment require authorisation from Defence Medical Services. You must contact the Healthcare and Education Department in order to initiate the approval process. If you do not receive prior authorisation for appointments and treatment all costs will be at a personal expense.
Diagnostic tests/scans​Diagnostic procedures (such as blood tests, x-rays, CT scans, PET scans and MRI scans) to diagnose an illness or monitor an existing condition are fully covered by the MOD. They are automatically authorised; therefore there is no requirement to contact the Healthcare and Education Department if your doctor orders any of these tests/scans. No routine testing for adults is funded by the MOD with the exception of cervical smear tests, mammograms, prostate cancer screening and colonoscopies. These are, however, subject to age restrictions and frequency limitations. Please note that ‘wellness testing’ is routine for Americans, therefore if your doctor recommends any routine testing or a physical exam, you must tell them that you are not covered for this unless you are prepared for it to be a personal expense. Please see ‘Appointments & Referrals‘ for more information on routine tests for adults. The MOD will fully fund ‘wellness testing’ for children. The entitled frequency to exams is as follows: Six routine wellness exams in the 1st 12 months of life Two routine wellness exams in the 13th-24th months of life One routine wellness exam per year between the ages of two and 18. See ‘Appointments & Referrals‘ for more information on children’s wellness testing.
DoulasA doula is a woman who provides support and advice to another woman during pregnancy and during and after birth. They may be a ‘birth doula’ or a ‘postnatal doula’, or both. They have no medical qualifications. Doula fees are not funded by the MOD. If you use a doula, their fees will be a personal expense.
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Elective careAn elective procedure is one that is not medically necessary. Elective surgery and procedures are not funded by the MOD. This is in accordance with JSP 468 and the Statment of civilian personnel policy on changing work location to or form an overseas area, which state that the standard of healthcare received overseas (rather than the span of care) must be in line with that available on the NHS (NHS England is used as the benchmark). Current guidance from the Secretary of State is that only essential treatment should be funded (overseas) by the MOD; any elective treatment should wait until the employee or dependant returns to the UK where, if available on the NHS, it will be funded from NHS resources. Any treatment you or your child has will be a personal expense.
Emergency RoomEmergency services (transport to the Emergency Room (ER) and treatment received at an ER) are fully funded by the MOD. Treatment at an ER is automatically authorised. There is no requirement to contact the Healthcare and Education Department. The ER does not have to be in-network with Aetna.
Erectile dysfunctionMen whose erectile dysfunction is associated with any of the following conditions may be eligible for MOD funded prescriptions if proof of the condition can be provided: • Diabetes • Kidney failure requiring dialysis • Kidney transplant • Multiple sclerosis • Parkinson’s disease • Polio • Prostate cancer • Removal of the prostate gland (prostatectomy, including men who have had a transurethral resection of the prostate) • Radical pelvic surgery • Severe pelvic injury • Single gene neurological conditions • Spinal cord injury • Spina bifida
Experimental surgeryExperimental surgery is not funded by the MOD. Any treatment you or your child has will be a personal expense.
Eye exams: adults​The MOD will fund one routine eye exam every 24 months. They are automatically authorised at this frequency; therefore there is no requirement to contact the Healthcare and Education Department if you wish to have an exam. The NHS patient contribution for an eye exam in the UK is £21.10 (equivalent to $32); this amount will be a personal expense unless you are exempt. If you are an MOD employee using Display Screen Equipment (DSE), you may be entitled to claim for the full cost of an eye exam once every two years. Please see ‘Optical care’ (under ‘Employees and Spouses – MOD UKBC Healthcare’) for further guidance. If you have a medical/optical condition that requires more regular exams or the care of a specialist, please contact the Healthcare and Education Department to obtain authorisation to have more frequent exams. Please see ‘Optical Care’ for further guidance.
Eye exams: childrenChildren are entitled to a routine eye exam once every 24 months. Eye exams for children under the age of 16 and children age 16-18 and in full time education are funded in full by the MOD. Eye exams for children age 16-18 and not in full time education are partially funded by the MOD. You will be responsible for paying the equivalent of the NHS contribution for an eye exam in the UK (£21.10 (equivalent to $32)). They are automatically authorised once every 24 months; therefore there is no requirement to contact the Healthcare and Education Department if you wish to take your child for an exam and it has been 24 months since their last sight test. If your child wears glasses, is experiencing vision problems or has a medical/optical condition that requires more regular exams (e.g. annual exams) or the care of a specialist, please contact the Healthcare and Education Department to obtain authorisation for your child to have more frequent exams. Please see ‘Optical Care‘ for further guidance.
Eyeglasses: adultsEyeglasses for adults are not funded by the MOD. If you are an MOD employee using Display Screen Equipment (DSE) and you require corrective lenses solely for DSE use, you are entitled to the receipted cost or a contribution of £60 ($91.80) (whichever is the lower) for frames and single vision lenses, or the receipted cost or a contribution of £80 ($122.40) (whichever is the lower) where a business need for multifocal lens glasses has been approved.
Eyeglasses: children​If your child is aged 18 or under and in full time education, and is prescribed eyeglasses, you are entitled to claim the equivalent of an NHS voucher amount.
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Flu vaccinationDue to the recent and ongoing COVID 19 pandemic, the MOD will fund one influenza vaccination per year for all MOD staff and their family members moving into the fall of 2020/2021. If this cannot be done under your military or civilian medical provider, these can be obtained at your local CVS/Walgreens and claimed back through the Embassy using the Form 200.
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Gastric band surgeryGastric band surgery is not funded by the MOD. Any treatment you or your child has will be a personal expense.
Genetic testingGenetic testing is not funded by the MOD. Any treatment you or your child has will be a personal expense.
GP visitGeneral Practitioner (or Primary Care Physician (PCP)) office visits for diagnosis and treatment of an illness, or monitoring of a pre-existing condition, are fully funded by the MOD. These are automatically authorised. There is no requirement to contact the Healthcare and Education Department. No routine testing for adults is funded by the MOD with the exception of cervical smear tests, mammograms, prostate cancer screening and colonoscopies. These are, however, subject to age restrictions and frequency limitations. Please note that ‘wellness testing’ is routine for Americans (wellness checks can include blood tests, urinalysis, a physical examination, ECG/EKG, vision & hearing screening and spirometry), therefore if your GP/PCP recommends any routine testing or a physical exam, you must tell them that you are not covered for this (unless you are prepared for it to be a personal expense). If you need to register with a GP/PCP (for example, if you require ongoing treatment for a specific condition) and your doctor needs to carry out any tests, please ensure they code your visit as an ‘Initial Patient Evaluation’, rather than a ‘Wellness Check’. The MOD will fully fund ‘wellness testing’ or physical exams for children. The entitled frequency to exams is as follows: Six routine wellness exams in the 1st 12 months of life Two routine wellness exams in the 13th-24th months of life One routine wellness exam per year between the ages of two and 18 These are automatically authorised at the frequency listed above; therefore there is no requirement to contact the Healthcare and Education Department (n.b. the most commonly suggested visit schedule within this entitlement is visits at 1 month, 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 9 months, 12 months, 18 months, 24 months, 3 years, and once a year thereafter up to 18 years). Physical exams that are solely required to allow your child to participate in a sport are not funded by the MOD, and will be a personal expense. All routine childhood vaccinations (as recommended by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) can be obtained during wellness visits at the entitled frequency (if visits are scheduled at 1 month, 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 9 months, 12 months, 18 months, 24 months, 3 years and once a year thereafter up to 18 years). If your child’s doctor does not administer all of the recommended vaccinations during their wellness visits, and your child therefore requires additional doctor’s office visits purely for the purpose of receiving vaccinations, please ensure that their doctor does not perform any wellness checks at these visits unless you are prepared for these to be a personal expense.
Gynaecological care examRoutine cervical smear/Pap smear tests are fully funded by the MOD once every three years for women between the ages of 25 and 49 and once every five years for women aged 50 to 64. They are automatically authorised at this frequency; therefore there is no requirement to contact the Healthcare and Education Department if you wish to have one. Your doctor may require you to have an annual cervical smear test before prescribing contraceptives. If this is the case, please contact the Healthcare and Education Department to obtain authorisation to have more frequent tests. If your mother or sister has had cervical, uterine or ovarian cancer you may be authorised to have more frequent exams. If this is the case, please contact the Healthcare and Education Department to obtain authorisation to have more frequent tests. When you go for your appointment, please ensure you tell the doctor that you are only covered for a Pap smear. Your doctor may recommend other tests, such as the HPV (human papilloma virus) test, however these will not be funded by the MOD unless your Pap smear result is abnormal. If your Pap smear displays any abnormalities, please contact the Healthcare and Education Department to obtain authorisation for additional tests.
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Hearing aidsThe MOD will fund ‘behind the ear’ hearing aids only. If possible, current NHS hearing aids should be repaired rather than replaced. If you require a new hearing aid please contact the Healthcare and Education Department to obtain authorisation for one.
Home health careHome health care is not funded by the MOD. Any care you or your child has will be a personal expense.
HomeopathyHomeopathy is not funded by the MOD. Any care you or your child has will be a personal expense.
HPV vaccinationThe HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) vaccination (also known as the cervical cancer vaccination) is part of the NHS childhood vaccination program. It is offered to girls aged 12 to 13 in the UK. This age group is year 8 in schools in England and grade 7 in schools in the United States. The MOD will fully fund the HPV vaccination for all girls aged 12–17 in the US. The vaccination is automatically authorised; therefore there is no requirement to contact the Healthcare and Education Department if you wish for your daughter to receive the vaccination. The vaccination must be obtained from a medical provider who is in the Aetna Choice POS II network. Women aged 18 or over are not routinely offered a vaccination against HPV on the NHS; therefore it is not funded by the MOD for this age group in the US. If you are 18 or over and choose to have this vaccination it is a personal expense. American doctors sometimes recommend that boys are vaccinated too; if you choose for your son to be vaccinated it will be a personal expense. ​
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Immunisations: adultsThe MOD will fully fund one influenza vaccination per year and any vaccinations that are necessary for official travel. The influenza vaccination is automatically authorised; therefore there is no requirement to contact the Healthcare and Education Department if you wish to have this vaccination. If you require any vaccinations for official travel, please inform the Healthcare and Education Department to ensure these are funded. All vaccinations must be obtained from a medical provider who is in the Aetna Choice POS II network. Please note that no vaccinations are needed for adults to enter the United States.
Immunisations: childrenThe MOD will fully fund all routine childhood vaccinations (as recommended by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), along with one influenza vaccination per year. All vaccinations are automatically authorised. There is no requirement to contact the Healthcare and Education Department. All vaccinations must be obtained from a medical provider that is in the Aetna Choice POS II network.​ Please see ‘Vaccinations’ for further guidance, including the UK and US childhood vaccination schedules.
Infertility testingIf you have been trying to conceive for at least one year, you may be entitled to receive certain investigative tests to establish if there is problem with fertility. This applies to both women and men. If you have any reason to be concerned about your fertility (for example, if you have had treatment for cancer) or you are a woman over the age of 35, you may be entitled to receive testing if you have been trying for less than a year. You must contact the Healthcare and Education Department for authorisation. No testing is automatically covered. Please note that the MOD will not fund any consultations concerning options for actual infertility treatment or any infertility treatment itself.
Infertility treatmentInfertility treatment includes infertility drugs, intrauterine insemination (IUI) and in-vitro fertilisation (IVF). Infertility treatment is not funded by the MOD as per the Assisted Conception and Fertility Defence Instruction and Notices 2021DIN01-020.
Influenza vaccination​The MOD will fully fund one influenza vaccination per year for both adults and children. These are automatically authorised; therefore there is no requirement to contact the Healthcare and Education Department if you wish to have a vaccination. These must be obtained from a medical provider who is in the Aetna Choice POS II network.​
Inpatient care​Inpatient care, including surgery, is fully funded by the MOD if you or your child is admitted to hospital in an emergency. If your or your child’s physician has recommended any non-urgent inpatient care, such as scheduled surgery or an extended period of monitoring or observation, you will need approval from Defence Medical Services (DMS) for your treatment before you or your child receive care. Please contact the Healthcare and Education Department in order to initiate the approval process. Provided DMS approve the treatment, it will be fully funded by the MOD. If you do not receive prior authorisation for treatment all costs will be at a personal expense.
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Laser eye surgeryLaser eye surgery is not funded by the MOD. Any treatment you or your child has will be a personal expense.
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Anti-malarial tabletsMalaria prevention medication is not available on the NHS in the UK. Instead, it is provided by private prescription. If you are travelling to an area where malaria is prevalent for leisure, the MOD will not fund malaria prevention medication. You will need to pay the full cost of the medication to the pharmacist. If you are travelling to an area where malaria is prevalent on business, the MOD will fund the full cost of the medication. Please inform the Healthcare and Education Department of your requirement for anti-malarial drugs if this is the case.
Malaria prevention medicationMalaria prevention medication is not available on the NHS in the UK. Instead, it is provided by private prescription. If you are travelling to an area where malaria is prevalent for leisure, the MOD will not fund malaria prevention medication. You will need to pay the full cost of the medication to the pharmacist. If you are travelling to an area where malaria is prevalent on business, the MOD will fund the full cost of the medication. Please inform the Healthcare and Education Department of your requirement for anti-malarial drugs if this is the case.​
MammogramsA routine mammogram is fully funded by the MOD once every three years for women between the ages of 47 and 70. They are automatically authorised at this frequency for women over the age of 47; therefore there is no requirement to contact the Healthcare and Education Department if you wish to have a mammogram. Please note that routine mammograms are recommended at more frequent intervals, and for women younger than 47, in the US; you are only entitled to one every three years, as would be available on the NHS, therefore you must inform your medical provider that you are not covered for more frequent testing or testing below the age of 47 unless you are prepared for this to be a personal expense. The age requirement and frequency limitation can be waived if your mother or sister has had breast cancer or your doctor has ordered a non-routine mammogram. If this is the case, please contact the Healthcare and Education Department to obtain authorisation.
Marriage counsellingMarriage counselling is not funded by the MOD. Any counselling you have will be a personal expense.
Medical equipmentCrutches, walkers and manual wheelchairs are fully funded by the MOD. Custom made orthotics ordered by a doctor, including custom made footwear, adaptations to the heel or sole of your own footwear, custom made shoe insoles and custom made fabric supports are fully funded by the MOD. Braces, such as back, hip and leg braces fitted by a doctor or orthotist to provide support following surgery are fully funded by the MOD. Machines and rental equipment must be approved by Defence Medical Services (DMS). Off the shelf/generic orthotics that can be bought over the counter, such as knee or ankle supports and insoles are not funded by the MOD. Please note that a lot of durable medical equipment provided to patients in the US is not available on the NHS. You should not take any equipment home with you until it has been approved by DMS, otherwise it will be a personal expense. Please contact the Healthcare and Education Department for further guidance.
Midwife visitsPost-natal home visits by a nurse, midwife or doula are not funded by the MOD.
Missed appointmentsCharges for missed appointments are not funded by the MOD.​
MRI scansAn MRI scan ordered by a medical provider to diagnose an illness or monitor an existing condition is fully covered by the MOD. They are automatically authorised; therefore there is no requirement to contact the Healthcare and Education Department if your doctor has ordered a scan.​
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Orthopaedic careAn initial consultation with an orthopaedic specialist/consultant is automatically covered by the MOD’s healthcare plan, and does not require prior authorisation from the Healthcare and Education Department. Any further appointments and treatment require authorisation from Defence Medical Services. You must contact the Healthcare and Education Department in order to initiate the approval process. If you do not receive prior authorisation for appointments and treatment all costs will be a personal expense.
OrthoticsCustom made orthotics ordered by a doctor, including custom made footwear, adaptations to the heel or sole of your own footwear, custom made shoe insoles and custom made fabric supports are fully funded by the MOD. Braces, such as back, hip and leg braces fitted by a doctor or orthotist to provide support following surgery are fully funded by the MOD. Off the shelf/generic orthotics that can be bought over the counter, such as knee or ankle supports and insoles are not funded by the MOD.
OsteopathyOsteopathy is not funded by the MOD. Any care you or your child has will be a personal expense.
Outpatient surgeryOutpatient surgery is fully funded by the MOD if the surgery is undertaken during a visit to an Emergency Room. ​ If your physician/your child’s physician has recommended any non-urgent outpatient surgery, you will need approval from Defence Medical Services (DMS) for treatment before you/your child receives care. You must contact the Healthcare and Education Department in order to initiate the approval process. Provided DMS approve the treatment, it will be fully funded by the MOD. If you do not receive prior authorisation for treatment all costs will be a personal expense.
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Paediatrician visitsThe MOD will fully fund: Six routine wellness exams in the 1st 12 months of life Two routine wellness exams in the 13th-24th months of life One routine wellness exam per year between the ages of two and 18 n.b. the most commonly suggested visit schedule within this entitlement is visits at 1 month, 2 months, 4 month, 6 months, 9 months, 12 months, 18 months, 24 months, 3 years, and once a year thereafter up to 18 years. A wellness exam/check or physical examination is a medical examination which is aimed at preventing health problems in an apparently healthy person. It can include routine testing such as blood tests, and is in contrast to a medical examination that would be carried out to diagnose a problem where there are specific symptoms. If your child’s doctor recommends any routine testing at more frequent intervals, you must tell them that they are not covered for this (unless you are prepared for it to be a personal expense). Children should also not be receiving any routine tests or exams during ‘sick visits’ to their GP, only tests to diagnose an illness. Paediatrician visits due to illness are not subject to the above schedule and are fully funded by the MOD. Both routine exams (at the frequency listed above) and visits due to illness are automatically authorised. There is no requirement to contact the Healthcare and Education Department. Physical exams that are solely required to allow your child to participate in a sport are not funded by the MOD, and will be a personal expense. All routine childhood vaccinations (as recommended by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) can be obtained during wellness visits at the entitled frequency (if visits are scheduled at 1 month, 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 9 months, 12 months, 18 months, 24 months, 3 years and once a year thereafter up to 18 years). If your child’s doctor does not administer all of the recommended vaccinations during their wellness visits, and your child therefore requires additional doctor’s office visits purely for the purpose of receiving vaccinations, please ensure that their doctor does not perform any wellness checks at these visits unless you are prepared for these to be a personal expense.
Pap test/Pap smear​Routine cervical smear/Pap smear tests are fully funded by the MOD once every three years for women between the ages of 25 and 49 and once every five years for women aged 50 to 64. They are automatically authorised at this frequency; therefore there is no requirement to contact the Healthcare and Education Department if you wish to have one. Your doctor may require you to have an annual cervical smear test before prescribing contraceptives. If this is the case, please contact the Healthcare and Education Department to obtain authorisation to have more frequent tests. If your mother or sister has had cervical, uterine or ovarian cancer you may be authorised to have more frequent exams. If this is the case, please contact the Healthcare and Education Department to obtain authorisation to have more frequent tests. When you go for your appointment, please ensure you tell the doctor that you are only covered for a Pap smear. Your doctor may recommend other tests, such as the HPV (human papilloma virus) test, however these will not be funded by the MOD unless your Pap smear result is abnormal. If your Pap smear displays any abnormalities, please contact the Healthcare and Education Department to obtain authorisation for additional tests.
PET scansA PET scan ordered by a medical provider to diagnose an illness or monitor an existing condition is fully covered by the MOD. They are automatically authorised; therefore there is no requirement to contact the Healthcare and Education Department if a scan has been ordered by your doctor.
Physical exams: adultsA physical exam or wellness check/exam is a medical examination which is aimed at preventing health problems in an apparently healthy person. It can include routine testing (including blood tests, urinalysis, a physical examination, ECG/EKG, vision & hearing screening and spirometry) and is in contrast to a medical examination that would be carried out to diagnose a problem where there are specific symptoms. Physical exams and wellness checks/exams for adults are not funded by the MOD as they are not available on the NHS. If you have any physical exams or wellness checks/exams they will be a personal expense. Please note that wellness testing is routine for Americans, therefore if your doctor recommends any routine testing, you must tell them that you are not covered for this (unless you are prepared for it to be a personal expense). See ‘Appointments & Referrals‘ for more information on routine testing.
Physical exams: children​A physical exam or wellness check/exam is a medical examination which is aimed at preventing health problems in an apparently healthy person. It can include routine testing such as blood tests, and is in contrast to a medical examination that would be carried out to diagnose a problem where there are specific symptoms. The MOD will fully fund: Six routine wellness exams in the 1st 12 months of life Two routine wellness exams in the 13th-24th months of life One routine wellness exam per year between the ages of two and 18 These are automatically authorised at the frequency listed above; therefore there is no requirement to contact the Healthcare and Education Department (n.b. the most commonly suggested visit schedule within this entitlement is visits at 1 month, 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 9 months, 12 months, 18 months, 24 months, 3 years and once a year thereafter up to 18 years). If your child’s doctor recommends any routine testing at more frequent intervals, you must tell them that your child is not covered for this (unless you are prepared for it to be a personal expense). Children should also not be receiving any routine tests or exams during ‘sick visits’ to their GP, only tests required to diagnose an illness. Physical exams that are solely required to allow your child to participate in a sport are not funded by the MOD, and will be a personal expense. All routine childhood vaccinations (as recommended by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) can be obtained during wellness visits at the entitled frequency (if visits are scheduled at 1 month, 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 9 months, 12 months, 18 months, 24 months, 3 years and once a year thereafter up to 18 years). If your child’s doctor does not administer all of the recommended vaccinations during their wellness visits, and your child therefore requires additional doctor’s office visits purely for the purpose of receiving vaccinations, please ensure that their doctor does not perform any wellness checks at these visits unless you are prepared for these to be a personal expense.
Physiotherapy/physical therapyIn order to receive physiotherapy (or physical therapy as it is known in the US), you must be referred by your doctor. The MOD will fully fund six sessions of therapy. If your therapist recommends more than six sessions, any additional sessions must be approved by Defence Medical Services (DMS) before you receive treatment. DMS may approve a maximum of 12 sessions. Please note that in contrast to the USA, physiotherapy is a limited resource in the UK. On the NHS up to six sessions would be the normal provision except in complicated or chronic cases. UK treatment is aimed at minimal therapist intervention with the patient being taught exercises that can be continued at home, with one or two follow-up visits to ensure good compliance with the exercise programme.
Podiatry​An initial consultation with a podiatrist is automatically covered by the MOD’s healthcare plan, and does not require prior authorisation from the Healthcare and Education Department. Any further appointments and treatment require authorisation from Defence Medical Services. You must contact the Healthcare and Education Department in order to initiate the approval process. If you do not receive prior authorisation for appointments and treatment all costs will be a personal expense.
Pre-natal careAll routine pre-natal visits and scans as would be available on the NHS are fully funded by the MOD. If your doctor recommends any specialised tests or scans, you will require authorisation from Defence Medical Services for these. Please see ‘Pregnancy’ for further guidance. ​
Pre-natal classesCertain pre-natal classes are available to expectant mothers on the NHS in the UK. The topics include: • Health in pregnancy • What happens during labour and the birth • Pain relief and relaxation • Information about different kinds of birth and interventions • Emotions and feelings during pregnancy, birth and after • Breast feeding • Caring for your baby New (first time) fathers may also be offered a session on how they can help during labour and delivery. The MOD will fully fund any pre-natal classes that would be available on the NHS in the UK. Please see ‘Pregnancy’ for further guidance.
PregnancyPlease see the ‘Pregnancy‘ section for details on what care is funded.
Prescription foodThe MOD will fund prescription food only if you can provide a written prescription from your NHS doctor. Adults are responsible for the NHS prescription charge of £8.20 ($13). Children’s prescriptions will be fully funded by the MOD since there is no NHS contribution for children’s prescriptions in the UK Please contact the Healthcare and Education Department if you have a food prescription.
Prescription pre-payment certificatePrescription pre-payment certificates are available on the NHS. The certificates will cover the cost of all of your prescription co-pays (NHS contributions) for the allotted time period. A three month certificate at NHS Current Contributions. A 12 month certificate NHS Current Contributions. The certificate only covers the individual named on the document. If you have recently arrived in the US and have a certificate obtained in the UK that is still valid, please provide the Healthcare and Education Department with a copy. Your exemption will be noted in Meritain Health’s prescription management system, and you will not be charged a co-pay whenever you fill a prescription for the period that your certificate covers. If you wish to purchase a new certificate whilst you are in the US, please contact the Healthcare and Education Department. Do not purchase one from the NHS. You will be provided with instructions on who to make payment to, following which you will receive a letter from the Embassy acknowledging receipt of your payment. Your exemption will be noted in Meritain Health’s prescription management system, and you will not be charged a co-pay whenever you fill a prescription for the period that your prescription covers.
Prescriptions – chargesPrescriptions are funded by the MOD provided the drug is available on the NHS. The NHS patient contribution for a prescription for adults in the UK is £8.20 (equivalent to $13); this amount will be a personal expense unless you are exempt. There is no NHS contribution for children’s prescriptions in the UK; therefore the MOD will fully fund your child’s prescription.
Prescriptions – exemptionYou are exempt NHS prescription charges if you: • are age 60 or over • are age under 16 • are age 16-18 and in full time education • are pregnant or have had a baby in the previous 12 months • have a specified medical condition and have a valid medical exemption certificate You should not be charged a fee for your child’s prescription when filling it at a pharmacy. For adults, if you fall into any of the categories listed above, please inform the Healthcare and Education Department, providing proof of your exemption (e.g. exemption certificate) where necessary. Your exemption will be noted in Meritain Health’s prescription management system, and you will not be charged a co-pay whenever you fill a prescription for the duration of your exemption.
Prostate cancer screeningAnnual prostate cancer screening is fully funded by the MOD for individuals over the age of 50. Annual screening, consisting of a PSA (prostate specific antigen) blood test and a physical examination of the prostate, is automatically authorised; therefore there is no requirement to contact the Healthcare and Education Department if you wish to be screened. Any other tests, or more frequent screening, must be approved by Defence Medical Services. If you do not meet the age requirement or you have any testing that is not listed above without prior authorisation, your treatment will be a personal expense.
PSA testing​Annual prostate cancer screening is fully funded by the MOD for individuals over the age of 50. Annual screening, consisting of a PSA (prostate specific antigen) blood test and a physical examination of the prostate, is automatically authorised; therefore there is no requirement to contact the Healthcare and Education Department if you wish to be screened. More frequent screening must be approved by Defence Medical Services. If you do not meet the age requirement or you have any testing that is not listed above without prior authorisation, your treatment will be a personal expense.
PsychiatryIn order to see a psychiatrist, you/your child must be referred by your/their Primary Care Physician. The MOD will fully fund one initial evaluation followed by two appointments. After this, you are entitled to one follow up visit every 90 days. If the psychiatrist recommends a more extensive treatment plan, it must be approved by Defence Medical Services before you have treatment. You must contact the Healthcare and Education Department in order to initiate the approval process. If you do not receive prior authorisation all costs will be a personal expense.​
PsychologyPsychology/counselling appointments are not widely available on the NHS. If your/your child’s Primary Care Physician has referred you/your child to see a counsellor please contact the Healthcare and Education Department to obtain authorisation for your care. Any appointments must be approved by Defence Medical Services before you begin treatment. You must contact the Healthcare and Education Department in order to initiate the approval process. If you do not receive prior authorisation for appointments all costs will be a personal expense.
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ReflexologyReflexology is not funded by the MOD. Any care you or your child has will be a personal expense.
Rescheduled appointmentsCharges applied for rescheduling appointments are not funded by the MOD.​
Routine testing: adultsNo routine testing for adults is funded by the MOD with the exception of cervical smear tests, mammograms, prostate cancer screening and colonoscopies. These are, however, subject to age restrictions and frequency limitations. Physical exams and wellness checks/exams for adults are not funded by the MOD as they are not available on the NHS. A physical exam or wellness check/exam is a medical examination which is aimed at preventing health problems in an apparently healthy person. It can include routine testing (including blood tests, urinalysis, a physical examination, ECG/EKG, vision & hearing screening and spirometry) and is in contrast to a medical examination that would be carried out to diagnose a problem where there are specific symptoms. If you have any physical exams or wellness checks/exams they will be a personal expense. Please note that wellness testing is routine for Americans, therefore if your doctor recommends any routine testing, you must tell them that you are not covered for this. Please see ‘Appointments & Referrals‘ for more information on routine testing.
Routine testing: children​A physical exam or wellness check/exam is a medical examination which is aimed at preventing health problems in an apparently healthy person. It can include routine testing such as blood tests, and is in contrast to a medical examination that would be carried out to diagnose a problem where there are specific symptoms. The MOD will fully fund: Six routine wellness exams in the 1st 12 months of life Two routine wellness exams in the 13th-24th months of life One routine wellness exam per year between the ages of two and 18 These are automatically authorised at the frequency listed above; therefore there is no requirement to contact the Healthcare and Education Department (n.b. the most commonly suggested visit schedule within this entitlement is visits at 1 month, 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 9 months, 12 months, 18 months, 24 months, 3 years, and once a year thereafter up to 18 years). If your child’s doctor recommends any routine testing at more frequent intervals, you must tell them that your child is not covered for this (unless you are prepared for it to be a personal expense). Children should also not be receiving any routine tests or exams during ‘sick visits’ to their GP, only tests required to diagnose an illness. Physical exams that are solely required to allow your child to participate in a sport are not funded by the MOD, and will be a personal expense. All routine childhood vaccinations (as recommended by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) can be obtained during wellness visits at the entitled frequency (if visits are scheduled at 1 month, 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 9 months, 12 months, 18 months, 24 months, 3 years and once a year thereafter up to 18 years). If your child’s doctor does not administer all of the recommended vaccinations during their wellness visits, and your child therefore requires additional doctor’s office visits purely for the purpose of receiving vaccinations, please ensure that their doctor does not perform any wellness checks at these visits unless you are prepared for these to be a personal expense.
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Sexual health/screening for Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)Screening for Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), including chlamydia, gonorrhoea, HIV, syphilis and herpes, is fully funded by the MOD. Screening will be funded whether routine or diagnostic. It is automatically authorised; therefore there is no requirement to contact the Healthcare and Education Department if you wish to be tested for STIs.
Sight test: adultsThe MOD will fund one routine sight test/eye exam every 24 months. They are automatically authorised at this frequency; therefore there is no requirement to contact the Healthcare and Education Department if you wish to have an exam. The NHS patient contribution for an eye exam in the UK is £21.10 (equivalent to $32); this amount will be a personal expense unless you are exempt. If you are an MOD employee using Display Screen Equipment (DSE), you may be entitled to claim for the full cost of an eye exam once every two years. Please see ‘Optical Care’ for further guidance. If you have a medical/optical condition that requires more regular exams or the care of a specialist, please contact the Healthcare and Education Department to obtain authorisation for care.
Sight test: childrenChildren are entitled to a routine eye exam once every 24 months. Eye exams for children under the age of 16 and children age 16-18 and in full time education are funded in full by the MOD.   Eye exams for children age 16-18 and not in full time education are partially funded by the MOD. You will be responsible for paying the equivalent of the NHS contribution for an eye exam in the UK (£21.10 (equivalent to $32)). They are automatically authorised once every 24 months; therefore there is no requirement to contact the Healthcare and Education Department if you wish to take your child for an exam and it has been 24 months since their last sight test. If your child wears glasses, is experiencing vision problems or has a medical/optical condition that requires more regular exams (e.g. annual exams) or the care of a specialist, please contact the Healthcare and Education Department to obtain authorisation for care. Please see ‘Optical Care‘ for further guidance.
Smoking cessationMedication to assist in smoking cessation is funded by the MOD. The medication must be available on the NHS.​
Specialist office visits​If your Primary Care Physician refers you to see a specialist, an initial consultation is automatically covered by the MOD’s healthcare plan, and does not require prior authorisation from the Healthcare and Education Department. Any further appointments and treatment require authorisation from Defence Medical Services. If you do not receive prior authorisation for appointments and treatment all costs will be a personal expense.
SterilisationSterilisation (male and female) is not funded by the MOD. Current guidance from the Secretary of State is that only essential treatment should be funded (overseas) by the MOD; any elective or non-medically necessary treatment should wait until the employee or dependant returns to the UK where, if available on the NHS, it will be funded from NHS resources. Since sterilisation is not medically necessary the MOD will not fund any treatment. This policy is not unique to the US and applies to all overseas areas. If you have any treatment in the US this will be a personal expense.
SurgeryInpatient and outpatient surgery is fully funded by the MOD if you or your child is admitted to hospital in an emergency. If your physician or your child’s physician has recommended any non-urgent, scheduled inpatient or outpatient surgery, you will need approval from Defence Medical Services (DMS) for treatment before you or your child receives care. You must contact the Healthcare and Education Department in order to initiate the approval process.
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Termination of pregnancyThe MOD will fully fund termination of pregnancy. Clinics offering termination of pregnancy are not widely available in the US. If you need to terminate your pregnancy, please contact the Healthcare and Education Department for guidance and assistance.
Tuberculosis testingTuberculosis (TB) testing for dependant employment purposes is not funded by the MOD. It is often required for employment in an environment where there will be contact with people who are susceptible to the disease (e.g. young children, the elderly and sick people). If you choose to have TB testing it will be a personal expense. If you have received the BCG vaccination in the UK, it will be beneficial for you to inform your doctor of this so that they can determine how best to test you for TB. If you have received the BCG vaccination, it is possible that you will test positive for TB if you have a skin test (US citizens do not routinely receive the BCG vaccination therefore the test only shows a positive response for them if they have had TB). TB blood tests (IGRAs), unlike the skin test, are not affected by prior BCG vaccination and are not expected to give a false positive result in people who have received the BCG vaccination. If a TB blood test does yield a postive result, this only tells that a person has been infected with TB bacteria. It does not tell whether the person has latent TB infection or has progressed to TB disease. Other tests, such a chest x-ray and a sample of sputum, are needed to see whether the person has TB disease.
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Urgent Care CentersUrgent Care Centers are small, walk-in clinics that treat patients who have an injury or illness that requires immediate care, but is not serious enough to warrant a visit to an emergency department. They usually provide care on an unscheduled, walk-in basis (with opening hours commonly extending to evenings and weekends). They include Convenient Care Clinics based in retail stores, including CVS’ ‘Minute Clinic’, Walgreen’s ‘Take Care Clinic’ and Target’s ‘Target Clinic’. They also include ‘Doc in a Box’, ‘Nurse in a Box’, ‘Express Care’ and ‘Patient First’ Centres. Please note this list is not exhaustive, as there are many other clinics with different names. You and your children are only covered for visits to Urgent Care Centers that are in the Aetna Choice POS II network.You can locate an in-network provider near you or verify a provider’s status by calling (+1) 800-343-3140 or by using the search facility on this website: www.aetna.com/docfind/custom/mymeritain​. If you use an out-of-network Urgent Care Center, it will not be funded by the MOD and all costs will be a personal expense. If there is no in-network Urgent Care Center near you, you should use your closest Emergency Room (ER). Please also note that some Urgent Care Centers are attached to hospitals. If you are seeking emergency care you must ensure that the urgent care department is in-network, or use the ER. Visits to in-network Urgent Care Centers are automatically authorised. There is no requirement to contact the Healthcare and Education Department.
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Vaccinations: adultsThe MOD will fully fund one influenza vaccination per year and any vaccinations that are necessary for official travel. The influenza vaccination is automatically authorised; therefore there is no requirement to contact the Healthcare and Education Department if you wish to have a vaccination. If you require any vaccinations for official travel, please inform the Healthcare and Education Department to ensure these are funded. All vaccinations must be obtained from a medical provider who is in the Aetna Choice POS II network. Please note that no vaccinations are needed for adults to enter the United States.
Vaccinations: childrenThe MOD will fully fund all routine childhood vaccinations (as recommended by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) along with one influenza vaccination per year. All vaccinations are automatically authorised. There is no requirement to contact the Healthcare and Education Department. All vaccinations must be obtained from a medical provider that is in the Aetna Choice POS II network. Please see ‘Vaccinations’ for further guidance, including the UK and US childhood vaccination schedules.
VasectomyIf you’re considering a vasectomy, please contact the BDSUS Health and Education Team.
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Wellness checks: adultsA wellness check/exam is a medical examination which is aimed at preventing health problems in an apparently healthy person. It can include routine testing (including blood tests, urinalysis, a physical examination, ECG/EKG, vision & hearing screening and spirometry) and is in contrast to a medical examination that would be carried out to diagnose a problem where there are specific symptoms. Wellness checks/exams for adults are not funded by the MOD as they are not available on the NHS. If you have any wellness checks/exams they will be a personal expense. Please note that wellness testing is routine for Americans, therefore if your doctor recommends any routine testing, you must tell them that you are not covered for this (unless you are prepared for it to be a personal expense). Please see’Appointments & Referrals‘ for more information on routine testing.​
Wellness checks: childrenA wellness check/exam is a medical examination which is aimed at preventing health problems in an apparently person. It can include routine testing such as blood tests, and is in contrast to a medical examination that would be carried out to diagnose a problem where there are specific symptoms. The US is not set up to deliver post pregnancy/newborn care in the same way that the UK delivers such care, there is no option for midwife visits post birth, or health visitors for example. Individuals should not expect to receive the same care as they would receive in the UK. Wellness checks, by definition, assume the baby is well. If a parent has any heath concerns about their baby immediate medical advice should be sought. The American Academy of Paediatricians recommend that a baby receives seven wellness checks in their first year of life (at 2-days, 2 weeks, 1 month, 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, and 9 months) and you can expect your paediatrician to recommend that you follow the US guidance. The MOD’s Surgeon General recommends following as closely as possible the NHS guidance which set wellness visits in the US at: immediately after birth in the hospital (or at 2 days at the paediatrician if this did not take place) and then at 1 month, 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 9 months and 12 months. ​Wellness checks will be fully covered by the MOD in the first year of life providing you use an in network provider with Meritain, Aetna Choice POS 11. Should you ever receive a bill for a Childs wellness check from a provider please contact the Health and Education ​Department as soon as possible.
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X-rays​X-rays ordered by a medical provider to diagnose an illness or monitor an existing conditionare fully covered by the MOD. They are automatically authorised; therefore there is no requirement to contact the Healthcare and Education Department if your doctor has ordered any x-rays.
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Last Updated: May 23, 2019 @ 1:06 pm

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