Washington, DC – The Department of Defense has hired Rand Corp to analyze it’s healthcare coverage of the autism therapy, Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). Recently Tricare, one of the healthcare providers for the armed forces, decided to make cuts in their reimbursement for ABA from $125 to just $68.
This action was taken through The Autism Care Demonstration Project which was created to level out differences in coverage for active and retired military members. Advocates, beneficiaries, and therapists are angered by the cuts with some ABA providers telling patients they’d have to stop seeing them if the cuts takes place. The uproar caused Pentagon officials to delay the cuts so Rand can properly examine the coverage.
The Defense Health Agency (DHA) contends that the coverage for the autism therapy is the most generous offered, adding that most privet insurers would hardly match them. Only 37 states have laws forcing insurance companies to cover ABA.
“We have by far the most robust, generous benefit with respect to autism coverage than anyone,”
Army Maj. Gen. Richard Thomas, DHA’s director of health care operations told Military Times. But many officials think they might be overspending, causing the DHA to look into the program.
One Army National Guard Officer on the Federal Employee Health Benefits plan told that he can only get ABA for his child by constantly continuing their active duty, since their area doesn’t cover it.
“I’m ineligible for Tricare Reserve Select because I have FEHB. I think this issue has been overlooked and should be addressed by congress,”
The original article on The Navy Times website can be found here
Contributed by Audrey L. Hollingshead