An interim TRICARE policy change affecting ABA benefits for military families fails to provide the level of coverage that was ordered by a federal judge in a class action lawsuit in July.
The Department of Defense (DoD) developed the interim policy change in response to a July 26 ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Reggie B. Walton that struck down the limited ABA benefits provided by TRICARE as "arbitrary and capricious." Walton ordered the DoD, which manages the TRICARE program, to begin offering coverage to military retirees, as well as active duty personnel. An estimated 23,000 military dependents are affected by autism.
An analysis by Autism Speaks of the DoD policy change found that its list of authorized ABA providers is severely restricted. "Very few dependents will actually receive any level of care, let alone the intensive level of services many require," the Autism Speaks analysis concludes.
For FAQs on the policy change and further background, go here.