The TRICARE ECHO program aims to provide special services and supplies to military beneficiaries who suffer from mental and physical disabilities. This page will provide you with the information regarding the nature of these services, as well as who is eligible for them.
The Extended Care Health Care Option (ECHO) provides financial support for military beneficiaries who have uncommon medical needs. TRICARE ECHO provides a number of special services and supplies. It is more commonly used as a means of disability compensation and is offered to families of military sponsors who suffer from severe mental and physical disabilities. Furthermore, children of military sponsors remain eligible for TRICARE benefits under Echo beyond the legal age of 21 or 23 (full time students). The child in question must have a life crippling disability, which renders him or her incapable to sufficiently support himself or herself.
ECHO is an additional, supplementary medical coverage program subsidized by TRICARE for military and non-military beneficiaries. It covers services that are not available through the standard TRICARE program plans. It provides financial support to dependents with special needs and disabilities and whose needs are not met in regular, traditional plans.
ECHO is available for usage to the same types of dependents who use TRICARE, however in order to qualify for ECHO, a special criteria has to be met. One such qualification merit is that the beneficiary seeking ECHO must have a severe and serious physical disability. Other qualifying conditions of Extended Care Health Option (ECHO) include severe mental retardation and a disabling physical condition which is so potent that the beneficiary has to remain in the confines of his or her home.
ECHO covers a wide range of socially and physically impairing diseases as well including Autism and Lou Gehrig’s disease. Furthermore, Blindness, Deafness and Muteness all qualify for TRICARE ECHO benefits and in addition to simple TRICARE coverage, beneficiaries can also receive assistance via the ECHO subsidiary.
The assistance becomes two fold and is more comprehensive and includes – in addition to regular benefits – rehabilitation programs, device and prosthetic training services, special education, transportation, institutional care and in-house services. Assistive services such as an interpreter and translator are also available under TRICARE ECHO.