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Sunday, February 18, 2018


In The Politics of Autism, I discuss the day-to-day challenges facing autistic people and their families. The challenges are especially great for military families.

Many posts have discussed Tricare  a health care program of the Department of Defense Military Health System.  It Tricare provides civilian health benefits for military personnel, military retirees, and their dependents. Military autism families depend on it.

Dianna Cahn at Stars and Stripes:
Across the country, parents and providers say they are facing overwhelming obstacles to sustaining services under Tricare following the Jan. 1 reorganization that included merging Tricare East and Tricare South and changing out contracts for Tricare East and West.

Servicemembers and family members have reported difficulties connecting to online systems and hourslong waits to speak to customer service. Parents and providers said they learned more from each other in online forums than from attempts to reach their insurance representatives.

Meanwhile, providers say reimbursements are patchy; they are slow to be approved; many providers are being reimbursed at rates of less qualified professionals; and the management companies – Humana Military in Tricare East and HealthNet in Tricare West – are slow to correct errors or address problems.

The Defense Health Agency says it is aware of the problems, particularly in Tricare East, and it has established a joint DHA/Humana Autism Task Force to resolve issues. It also says many of the problems have been corrected or are being resolved. But providers say that while claims that do go through without error are being processed more quickly, many of the issues still persist – including frequent errors in processing, payment rates and full reimbursements.