Province introduces coverage for special infant formula

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by Morinville News Staff

The Alberta government say they have listened to family concerns by providing coverage for medically required, specialized infant formula. The coverage began May 1.

The initiative looks to assist children who have significant gastrointestinal medical conditions or suffer from malabsorption and require expensive, specialized formulas as they cannot eat typical foods.

Government-sponsored benefit programs will provide coverage for Neocate infant formula when an infant is unable to tolerate common infant formula. The average cost of Neocate is about $690 each month.

“Some babies have to rely on specialized infant formulas to meet their nutritional needs. But these formulas are costly, medically necessary and, in many cases, cause families considerable financial hardship,” said Brandy Payne, Associate Minister of Health. “After speaking with these parents and hearing about the financial strain they are under, our government decided this coverage should be provided. It’s the right thing to do.”

Neocate must be prescribed by, or in consultation with, a pediatrician, a neonatologist or a pediatric gastroenterologist for families to be eligible for coverage. Families must apply for government’s non-group coverage to get this benefit. A monthly premium ranging from $82 to $118 and a co-payment of up to $25 per prescription will also be required.

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