TRICARE Backpedals on Proposed ABA Therapy Policy Change

Active-duty families not subject to new ABA policy; retirees and reservists are not so lucky.

This afternoon, TRICARE released a statement via email which reversed information found on their website dated June 25, 2013 regarding new ABA policy changes. The first sentence of TRICARE’s statement acknowledged their website information did appear to pertain to all TRICARE beneficiaries.

Thus, the Department of Defense is making NO CHANGES for active duty family members seeking autism therapy.

TRICARE has now clarified that active duty families will follow current referral and authorization policies. The newer restrictive ABA policies will be applicable to veteran retirees and current military reservists. These policies take affect next week on July 25, 2013.

EBCALA is gratified to have assisted the advocacy effort that reversed TRICARE’s proposed policy change for active duty families. However, we remain strongly concerned that veteran retirees and reservists will be subjected to highly restrictive changes, which include testing requirements, arbitrary discharge criteria, policy limitations and waiver processes to obtain or retain ABA programs.

EBCALA intends to advocate for veteran retirees (which includes wounded warriors) and reservists so their dependents can also benefit from the same ABA policies in effect for active-duty families. If you would like to see TRICARE’s proposed policy fully reversed for non-active military families, keep up with the good work on contacting your elected officials in Washington, DC.

Thank you to everyone who reached out to their representatives in Congress and the Senate to let their voices be heard through letters, emails and protests. Of course, we are also deeply appreciative of the Senators and Congressional Representatives who contacted TRICARE directly on behalf of their constituents.