Gateway Gazette

The Province Introduces Coverage for Special Infant Formula

The Alberta government has listened to the concerns of families and will provide coverage for medically required, specialized infant formula beginning May 1.

Government-sponsored benefit programs will provide coverage for Neocate infant formula when an infant is unable to tolerate common infant formula because of a complex food allergy or a specific medical condition. 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. 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.”

Brandy Payne, Associate Minister of Health

Some children have serious gastrointestinal medical conditions or suffer from malabsorption and cannot eat typical foods. These children usually require expensive, specialized formulas.

To be eligible for coverage, Neocate must be prescribed by, or in consultation with, a pediatrician, a neonatologist or a pediatric gastroenterologist. 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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