Extension of Autism Care Demonstration for TRICARE Eligible Beneficiaries Announced

TRICARE Eligible Extension for Autism

What Does this Mean for Military Families of Children with Autism?

This month, the U.S. Department of Defense elected to extend the comprehensive autism care demonstration for TRICARE eligible beneficiaries diagnosed with ASD.

The initial goal of the program was to further analyze and evaluate the appropriateness and effectiveness of applied behavior analysis (ABA) services, including both one-to-one and  tiered-delivery ABA services, depending on the unique needs of the individual. The TRICARE Comprehensive Autism Care Demonstration covers ABA services for all TRICARE beneficiaries diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and was set to expire on December 31, 2018. With one year left for the demonstration, key agency members have concluded that their team will need “much more analysis and experience…in order to determine the appropriate characterization of ABA services as a medical treatment, or other modalities, under the TRICARE program coverage requirements.”

According to the notice, the Comprehensive Autism Care Demonstration has been extended for five years, until December 31, 2023.

What Does this Mean for Military Families of Children with Autism?

So what does all of this mean for military families? Essentially, this extension means that military parents of children with autism can continue to seek treatment and therapies for their child, including ABA services, without disruption. These therapies will continue to be considered a medical benefit for TRICARE recipients for at least the next six years. Benefits of the extension include:

More Options for Parents. The purpose of the Comprehensive Autism Care

Demonstration is to allow parents and families more autonomy and personalization, including the choice to seek care from facilities that take a more holistic approach to treating autism. As long as the TRICARE certified ABA providers ensure quality of care by meeting the requirements of the program in the initial assessment, treatment planning, and follow-up, their services are covered.   

Continuity of Care. Even more importantly, extending the Comprehensive Autism Care

Demonstration guarantees that children with autism will receive continuous, quality care from their current providers, and their parents won’t have to worry about future out-of-pocket expenses. Military parents can confidently seek the best care for their child, and for their family’s situation.  

At Springbrook, we’re proud to support military families who have a special needs child. In addition to being a TRICARE certified EMF, we also partner with local organizations such as The Ronald McDonald House to ensure that military families have a place to stay while visiting their child. We understand that having a child with autism, and dealing with a residential placement, while stationed abroad can be a mental, emotional, and logistical struggle. We want to make it as simple and straightforward as possible.

To qualify for the Autism Care Demo, you must register in the Extended Care Health Option (ECHO). You only pay the ECHO monthly fee for ECHO services other than ABA. Our Administrative Team is also expert at the TRICARE approval and reimbursement process as well as other forms of coverage, so we are also happy to walk you through the steps. Call us at 864.834.8013 to get started.