The Day the World Changed for Military Families Impacted by Autism
[Source: Huffington Post (Military Families Week]
For tens of thousands of military families impacted by autism, Thursday, July 26, was a day when everything changed. That was the day Judge Reggie B. Walton, a United States District Judge in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, Kenneth and Dawn Berge, and the class of similarly affected families in Civil Action No. 10-0373 (Berge v. United States of America). This case was about whether or not TRICARE, the military’s health insurance program, must cover Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) as a medically necessary therapy for military dependents with autism under the basic TRICARE coverage. Judge Walton’s decision was an emphatic yes!
TRICARE currently segregates ABA, the standard of care in the treatment of autism, into an entirely separate arm of TRICARE, as a “non-medical educational” service. This allows TRICARE to limit care to dependents of active duty service members and places a financial cap on treatment services which falls far below recommended standards. This means that dependents of military retirees, including those involuntarily retired (such as our wounded warriors), are not able to access ABA treatments under TRICARE.
Read the Rest of this Article on the Huffington Post