People with a mild or severe form of mental retardation can be considered for the TRICARE ECHO program. This article provides a brief overview of its features.
ECHO stands for the Extended Care Health Option. The TRICARE ECHO program is designed to give financial support to those beneficiaries who have special needs that require essential, integrated supplies and services.
In order to make use of ECHO, a beneficiary has to be registered in the EFMP, which is the Exceptional Family Member Program, using the sponsor’s service branch. In every TRICARE region, it is important for the beneficiary to enroll for ECHO with the respective case managers.
People who have been diagnosed with a severe or moderate form of mental retardation, an exception psychological or physical condition or any other physical disability of a serious nature can be considered for ECHO. In addition to this, they should either be the family members of people who are currently serving in the military forces, of the activated members of the National Guard or Reserve, or those members of the family who are provided coverage by the Transitional Assistance Management Program. In addition to this, if a child or a spouse of a former service member has been the victim of any kind of abuse and qualifies for the Transitional Compensation Program, then he or she can also be considered. Furthermore, any individual who can be classified as a transitional survivor to a deceased sponsor who had been an active member can also qualify for ECHO. In the case of children, the set age limits may not always apply; they might be allowed to continue with ECHO in certain circumstances.
As such, you will not be required to pay any enrollment fees. However, you will have to pay a portion of monthly expenses in order to obtain the ECHO benefits that have been authorized. How much your cost share is going to be depends on your pay grade (or your sponsor’s). This only has to be paid by the sponsor, and does not need to be paid for each beneficiary. Furthermore, you will only be required to pay your cost share if you have made use of any ECHO benefits during that particular calendar month.