TRICARE 'Turns Back the Clock' On Military Families

WASHINGTON, DC (June 27, 2013) -- Military families will face new restrictions and cutbacks obtaining applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy for their children with autism under new policies made public this week by TRICARE, the Department of Defense health benefits program.

"These policies drastically change how ABA is covered under TRICARE and will impact all beneficiaries and service providers," said Karen Driscoll, Autism Speaks' associate director for federal government affairs and military relations. "Autism Speaks is very concerned about the imposition of age and duration limits, threatened cutoffs for treatment, and the administrative hurdles to access care.

"Military families deserve better," she said. “Our clinical science and advocacy teams are working on a report and plan of action to address. Please stay tuned for policy updates.”

See TRICARE's released policies here:

  • ECHO (Extended Care Health Option) demonstration program for active duty personnel
  • Basic policies for all beneficiaries
  • Pilot program. Ordered by Congress in late 2012, this program was intended to expand ABA coverage under a 12-month pilot program for dependents of non-active duty service personnel