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TRICARE expands autism care
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FORT SAM HOUSTON — The Department of Defense is not making changes for active-duty family members seeking autism services. However, an expansion of services through the Applied Behavior Analysis Pilot Program will allow retirees and their families to receive autism-service demonstration benefits.
TRICARE has long covered applied behavior analysis for active-duty family members as a benefit of the Extended Care Health Option.
Beginning July 25, autism services available to non-active-duty family members will be greatly expanded with the introduction of the ABA Pilot Program. The pilot program provides retirees and their families with access to additional areas of ABA reinforcement.
Autism care and treatment is evolving, and the pilot program is expected to provide insight into evaluation protocols. It was developed by crafting requirements through consultations with experts in the field and with advocacy groups in an attempt to discover the best approach for focusing on what would be the most appropriate care.
Dr. Jonathan Woodson, assistant secretary of defense for health affairs and director of the TRICARE Management Activity, said it is “paramount” for children with autism to obtain professional reassessments to ensure they get the right care, at the right time, with updated care plans.
Autism care benefits for qualifying children of active-duty service members’ enrolled in TRICARE will not change.

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