Families who are using TRICARE may be eligible for ECHO. It is part of the TRICARE program and it is designed to provide financial assistance for certain services and supplies for families who have children with specific types of special needs.
TRICARE is the health are program for uniformed service members, retirees, and their families worldwide. It is the health care program serving active duty service members, National Guard Reserve members, retirees, their families, survivors and certain former spouses worldwide.
TRICARE is the main component of the Military Health System. It combines the health care resources of the uniformed personnel, and supplements it with networks of civilian health care professionals, institutions, pharmacies, and supplies in order to provide high quality health care services to those who are eligible for TRICARE.
ECHO stands for Extended Care Health Option. It is a supplemental program to TRICARE. There is no enrollment fee. There are certain qualifications that must be met before a person can be enrolled in ECHO.
ECHO is available for beneficiaries who have a qualifying condition and who are active duty family members, (including National Guard / Reserves) who have been activated for more than 30 days. Family members of the active duty member who are eligible for continued TRICARE coverage through the Transitional Assistance Management Program may also qualify. Children or spouses of former service members who were victims of physical or emotional abuse also may qualify.
What is a “qualifying condition”? It includes: moderate or severe “mental retardation”, a serious physical disability, or a physical or psychological condition that causes the beneficiary to be homebound. Children remain eligible for ECHO past the TRICARE age limit. They are eligible until they turn 21, or 23 if the person is enrolled in college full time.
Part of ECHO includes an Autism Services Demonstration. Eligible family members must be age 18 months and older. They must be registered in ECHO. They must be diagnosed with any of the following: Autistic Disorder, Childhood Disintegrative Disorder, Asperger’s Syndrome, or Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified.
It covers services that fall under Educational Interventions for Autism Spectrum Disorders EIA. It includes coverage for Applied Behavioral Analysis. It covers the tracking of behavioral data to determine progress in reaching behavioral objectives defined in the child’s Behavior Plan, (and also to periodically modify that plan as needed). It requires meetings between family members and the people who are designing and implementing the intervention program.
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