A supplemental benefits program available under Tricare offers families of active-duty members as much as $36,000 a year each to cover the cost of the therapy and other autism treatments. But the Berges are not eligible for that program because Zach's father, Kenneth Berge, retired from the Air Force in 2006.See an earlier post on TRICARE.
"I thought it was a fluke that it's not covered," said Dawn Bermge, a former college speech instructor whose full-time job now is to take care of Zach. "We believe with our military members serving like they have, this is something they would be covering."
There are nearly 8,800 dependents of retired military personnel who have been diagnosed with autism, according to 2007 Department of Defense figures.
Tricare representatives told military families that it considers ABA an educational program, not a medical benefit. Because of this, ABA therapy falls under the supplemental benefits program offered by Tricare only to active-duty personnel.
Sunday, August 8, 2010
TRICARE and Retirees
The Los Angeles Times reports on Zachary Berge, an ASD child facing a coverage gap: