Tricare Doesn’t Say Sorry, But Changes Course on Autism Coverage for Active Duty Family Members

Color us relieved to hear that Tricare and the Department of Defense will not make any changes for family members seeking Autism services.   Rather than apologize for panicking countless military families reliant on applied behavior analysis (ABA) benefits, they’d rather pretend like it was a psych-out…pun intended?  You decide.

Ultimately, the ABA Pilot program will only impact “non-active duty family members, including retirees.”  Not to be seen as miserly or stingy, the email update reminded all of us that  “The Department of Defense provides one of the most generous applied behavior analysis (ABA) benefits in the United States through TRICARE.”

As the blogger behind Organized Chaos says, now is the time to breathe and celebrate!

Here’s the TRICARE Email in it’s entirety for your reference and reading pleasure:

Changes to Autism Coverage – No Impact on Active Duty Families
July 18, 2013

Contrary to information provided to you earlier about pending changes to Autism services, the Department of Defense is making NO CHANGES for active duty family members seeking Autism services.

Beginning July 25, 2013, the Department is greatly expanding services available to non-active duty family members with introduction of the ABA Pilot. The pilot will provide non active duty family members, including retirees, with access to additional areas of ABA reinforcement. Some of the requirements for non-active duty family members to take part in the ABA Pilot include ABA reassessment and testing, so TRICARE can evaluate the effectiveness and quality of ABA services under this pilot. These testing requirements do not apply to active duty family members currently receiving ABA through the Autism Demonstration.

The Department of Defense provides one of the most generous applied behavior analysis (ABA) benefits in the United States through TRICARE. There are no changes in the TRICARE Basic program or the Extended Care Health Option (ECHO) Autism Services Demonstration providing ABA to active duty family members.

TRICARE’s goal, first and always, is to support our beneficiaries and we’re actively working with our managed care support contractors to assure access to all types of care including ABA. TRICARE continues to provide all medically necessary treatment for autism spectrum disorders such as physician and psychological services; testing; speech, occupational and physical therapy and pharmacy and there is no cap or maximum for the care or treatment provided for this medically necessary care.  

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