Special Needs

My letter reached Senate!

Back in September I was abruptly informed by Tricare, the insurance for military families, that we would no longer receive ABA therapy for my son because Tricare was dropping any coverage currently approved for kids without a formal ASD diagnosis, despite the fact that our developmental ped said my son needed ABA and that it had helped him tremendously. Obviously paying for ABA out of pocket is next to impossible for most families. In fact, just to continue a meak one hour of coverage per week with a lesser qualified therapist is costing us $650 per month. I was so distraught over this when I came across an online article on the issue that had some Tricare representative quoted as saying that families who lost coverage, as we did, would be provided a "soft landing" during the transition. Umm..no!!! I literally received a phone call at 5pm on a Monday that as of the next morning we would no longer be covered. We were right smack in the middle of developmental testing with our ABA provider too (which I had to pay almost 1k to complete). I was so upset after reading this article that I wrote a long letter about our story to the site that posted it, which was a military family advocacy group. They urged me to write to my reps, but that was the last I had heard.

Anyhow, today I received several urgent phone calls and emails from the office of Senator Patty Murray. Apparently they got my letter and wanted to use it on the Senate floor while fighting for new legislation to expand ABA coverage for all Tricare families and without a financial cap--and it passed!!!! I'm still uncertain as to the exact language in the bill and whether we will be covered without an ASD diagnosis, but I do know that they were trying to take away ABA from even ASD kids in certain uniformed services, and those who would receive it would be capped at an amount that didn't permit 20 hours per week (which many kids do need). I'm so happy that I was able to contribute in some small way to making this happen! I hate that we were dropped and have felt it financially in a big way, but I love knowing that our story was heard on capitol hill and actually helped make a difference for others.

imageLilypie Premature Baby tickers imageLilypie Premature Baby tickers

Re: My letter reached Senate!

  • Wow! That is wonderful news! Way to be an advocate!!!

    Now I am imagining a bunch of parents of children with autism heading to the recruiter tomorrow. Interesting incentive for military service. :)

  • They previously covered up to 36k for active duty families, but now it should be without a cap for all who receive Tricare, including active and retired members. They also will allow all uniformed services to stay covered, and not just armed forces.
    imageLilypie Premature Baby tickers imageLilypie Premature Baby tickers
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  • What region of TriCare are you? I'm South and ever since where I"m at switched regions reading the authorizations have become a large PITA.  I'm not dealing with ABA but I do have a friend who is also military who is and she will be thrilled when I tell her this info you posted.  :-)
  • Wow, that's incredible! What a great thing for your family and so many others!

    DD1, 1/5/2008 ~~~ DD2, 3/17/2010
  • How awesome that you were able to influence such a great change!!

    DS 09/2008

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