Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

Leaving the Military? Extend TRICARE Coverage for Special Needs

Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

Leaving the Military? Extend TRICARE Coverage for Special Needs

Article excerpt

TriWest Healthcare Alliance

If you or your spouse serve on active duty in the military and are preparing to separate, you can temporarily extend TRICARE's coverage for your special needs family member. This will allow you to smoothly find a new healthcare plan and transfer over coverage, without any gaps. Here's what you'll need to know:

Understand ECHO-TRICARE Coverage for Special Needs

ECHO stands for Extended Care Health Option, otherwise known as TRICARE coverage for individuals with disabilities and special needs. Normally, ECHO is not available to service members who have left active duty, but exceptions can be made for members who are eligible for the Transitional Assistance Management Program (TAMP).

What is TAMP?

TAMP offers an additional 180 days of TRICARE benefits after separation from active duty. If your child was enrolled in ECHO during your active duty period, ECHO benefits can continue during TAMP.

How Do I Know if My Benefits Can Be Extended?

You and your eligible family members may be covered for health benefits under TAMP if the sponsor:

* Involuntarily separated from active duty under honorable conditions

* Is a National Guard or Reserve member separated from a period of active duty that was more than 30 consecutive days in support of a contingency operation

* Separated from active duty following involuntary retention (stop-loss) in support of a contingency operation

* Separated from active duty following a voluntary agreement to stay on active duty for less than one year in support of a contingency operation

* Received a sole survivorship discharge

* Separated from active duty and agreed to become a member of the Selected Reserve of the Ready Reserve of a Reserve Component, without a break in service. …

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