Frequently Asked Questions
- How quickly can participants get a noncontract formula after I complete the Medical Request Form?
- I need to order a formula that’s not on the Texas WIC Formulary. Is that possible?
- What are some of the reasons a formula request might be denied?
- How are formula benefits provided to WIC Participants?
- My patient needs additional formula. Why can’t WIC provide more formula for infants?
- I have a one-year-old patient that I think would benefit from reduced-fat cow’s milk. Can the family get it from WIC?
- How does someone become a WIC participant?
While some noncontract formulas are readily available through area pharmacies or hospitals, that’s not always the case. It may take several days for a client to obtain the product.
Yes, it may be possible, but please be aware that processing a request for a formula not in the formulary typically takes at least several weeks. In addition to obtaining information about the product for state approval and having a pharmacy or facility order the product for the patient, Texas WIC must get the product information entered into the electronics benefits transfer system so that the client can obtain the product using her WIC EBT card. Not all formulas on the market are approved for use by Texas WIC. State office staff must approve new product additions.
A formula request might be denied for various reasons, including:
- the requested formula is not an authorized product or container size in Texas.
- the requested formula is for weight gain only with no additional medical diagnosis.
- the requested formula is not indicated for the diagnosis provided.
- a standard contract formula must be tried first, and there is no current medical contraindication to trying a contract formula.
But do keep in mind, WIC is able to approve most requests based on appropriate reasons for issuance as noted in the Texas WIC Formulary.
After becoming certified, WIC participants get their food and formula via an electronic benefits transfer system. Each WIC family is issued a card similar to a credit card, and the family’s benefits (designated amounts of foods and formula) are loaded on the card. Then the participant takes her WIC EBT card to any grocery store that accepts WIC benefits. Participants can typically get standard formulas at most grocery stores, but some formulas must be ordered by a pharmacy.
The WIC program is a supplemental food program, and Federal Regulations mandate the maximum amounts formula that WIC can provide to participants. WIC staff members advise mothers that the program provides a limited amount of formula, and they encourage new mothers to breastfeed whenever they are together with their babies.
I have a one-year-old patient that I think would benefit from reduced-fat cow’s milk. Can the family get it from WIC?
No, not under the current rules. Currently, WIC can issue only whole milk to a child between 1 and 2 years of age; WIC cannot provide any type of low-fat or reduced-fat milk to participants in this age group. However, USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service and the American Academy of Pediatrics are discussing this rule, and they plan to make a determination for the final rules in Feb. 2010.
To enroll in the WIC Program, potential WIC clients can call 1-800-942-3678. To become a WIC client, a woman and/or her children need to meet certain eligibility requirements with regard to income and nutritional status. Click here for eligibility requirements and more information about the program.