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Coverage criteria policies

Formula - Amino Acid-Based Elemental – Minnesota Health Care Programs

These services may or may not be covered by your HealthPartners plan. Please see your plan documents for your specific coverage information. If there is a difference between this general information and your plan documents, your plan documents will be used to determine your coverage.

Administrative Process

Prior authorization is generally required for oral amino acid-based elemental formula. However for members with inborn errors of metabolism, such as Phenylketonuria (PKU), Hyperlysinemia, or Maple Syrup Urine Disease (MSUD), authorization is not required. Formula and foods for these specific conditions are covered without prior authorization. Please see related content Nutritional Support-Minnesota Health Care Programs for more information.


Oral amino acid-based elemental formulas are generally covered subject to the indications listed below

Indications that are covered

  1. Amino acid nutrition for members with feeding tubes is covered.
  2. The covered formula must contain 100% free amino acids as the protein source.
  3. Coverage of oral amino acid-based elemental formula is limited to children age five years and younger.
  4. Oral amino acid-based elemental formula is covered when ordered by a physician for a member diagnosed with any of the following conditions:
    1. IgE mediated allergies to food proteins
    2. Food protein induced enterocolitis syndrome
    3. Eosinophilic esophagitis (EE)
    4. Eosinophilic gastroenteritis (EG)
    5. Eosinophilic colitis
    6. Amino acid, organic acid and fatty acid metabolic and malabsorption disorders
    7. Cystic fibrosis
  5. When requesting coverage, the ordering physician is required to submit documentation of symptoms and diagnosis, expected course of treatment and duration of treatment with AABF. Interim coverage may be provided for up to 90 days when requested by a physician while actively seeking diagnosis.
  6. Condition must be diagnosed by an allergist, gastroenterologist, or pediatrician.

Indications that are not covered

  1. All other conditions not listed above remain not covered for treatment with oral amino acid-based elemental formula.
  2. For the treatment of conditions listed above, other formulas which do not provide 100% free amino acids as the protein source, including, but not limited to: Casein Hydrolysate formulas with added Amino Acids, (examples include Nutramigen LIPIL, Enfamil Pregestimil, Similac Alimentum Advance,and Similac Alimentum) ,Hydrolyzed Whey-based formulas (examples include Carnation Good Start and Nestle Peptamen), Modified amino acid formulas, (examples include formulas such as I-Valex and Glutarex), and semi-elemental formulas (such as Vital Jr.).


Oral Formula refers to a commercially formulated substance, ingested through the mouth, that provides nourishment, and affects the nutritive and metabolic processes of the body; nourishment that is required to provide sufficient nutrients to maintain weight and strength related to the persons overall health status.

Amino acid-based elemental formulas (AABFs) are one of four main classes of oral formula. AABFs are not derived from a food source, but instead contain 100% free amino acids (the building blocks of protein) as the protein source. AABFs are indicated for certain adverse reactions and food allergy conditions, as the nutrients contained in AABFs are in their most broken down form.

‘Vivonex’ and ‘Tolerex’ manufactured by Novartis Nutrition, ‘Neocate’ manufactured by Nutricia North America, ‘Elecare’ by Abbott, ‘Nutramigen AA’ and ‘Nutramigen AA LIPIL’ manufactured by Mead Johnson and ‘E028 Splash’ manufactured by SHS International are examples of 100% amino acid based elemental formulas.


This information is for most, but not all, HealthPartners plans. Please read your plan documents to see if your plan has limits or will not cover some items. If there is a difference between this general information and your plan documents, your plan documents will be used to determine your coverage. These coverage criteria may not apply to Medicare Products if Medicare requires different coverage. For more information regarding Medicare coverage criteria or for a copy of a Medicare coverage policy contact Member Services at 952-883-7979 or 1-800-233-9645.


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