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Province introduces coverage for special baby formula

The Alberta government has heard the concerns of families and will start providing coverage for medically required specialized infant formula.

Effective as of May 1st, 2016, government-sponsored benefit programs are offering coverage for Neocate infant formula when a baby is unable to tolerate common infant formula due to complex food allergy or specific medical conditions.

“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,” explains 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.”

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

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

The average cost of Neocate is about $690 per month.

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