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Health care and other services for families with special needs are available and accessible to military families across all installations. It’s important to know that programs and services may vary from installation to installation. Make sure to contact your health care provider(s) before your move. Also make sure you know how to reach them during and after your move in case of emergencies.
Whether this is your first move, or you’re a seasoned professional, moving can be a challenge. A little planning and preparation can help make your move as easy as possible. Try the following Defense Department resources to help you get organized:
Make sure your transition is as smooth as possible by visiting Moving on the TRICARE website. Talk to your medical case manager before you move. They can help you find a new doctor and other resources to avoid any interruptions in coverage.
On arrival at your new duty location, you or your sponsor can contact the Beneficiary Counseling and Assistance Coordinator at the military treatment facility. They can help if you have questions or need assistance with authorizations for TRICARE Extended Care Health Option, or ECHO, services.
All TRICARE regional offices and most military treatment facilities are staffed with beneficiary counseling and assistance coordinators who educate beneficiaries and help with TRICARE-related eligibility, enrollment, referrals/authorizations and claims processing questions. If you or your family has more complex needs, contact your TRICARE case manager.
TRICARE debt collection assistance officers are assigned to regional offices and military treatment facilities worldwide. DCAOs assist with confirmed debt collection due to unpaid TRICARE claims. Please note, the debt must be in collections or listed on your credit report.
Medicaid provides health coverage for eligible individuals and families with low incomes or with special needs. The department of social services or the department of medical assistance may administer the Medicaid program in your state. Supplemental Security Income is a cash assistance program intended to assist adults and children with special needs who have limited resources. Families must reapply after moving to a new state.
Medicaid waivers are state-specific Medicaid programs that provide funding for long-term care services to be provided in the community instead of in nursing homes or hospitals. There may be waitlists for waivers, however many states have agreed to the policy of allowing active-duty military families to enroll in their state of legal residence to get on the wait list.
Learn more about Benefits for Families With Special Needs, or review the Government Assistance Programs course on MilLife Learning.
The TRICARE Extended Care Health Option provides supplemental services to:
The qualifying family member’s disability must be entered properly in the Defense Eligibility Enrollment Reporting System to have access to TRICARE ECHO services.
For qualifying medical and/or educational special needs, TRICARE ECHO offers integrated services and supplies beyond those offered by your TRICARE program option (such as TRICARE Prime and TRICARE Select). See this TRICARE ECHO factsheet for more information, or listen to this TRICARE ECHO webinar on Military OneSource.
Military hospitals and clinics are found at military bases and posts around the world. They are also referred to as military treatment facilities. Before you move, find out your new military treatment facility and contact them for local information.
Medical case management involves a team of health care professionals who help you and your family find solutions to complex health problems. It is important to let your medical case manager know if you are moving. They can help you connect with a medical case manager at your new location. Learn more about TRICARE case management services.
If your family member has special transportation needs for the move, such as oxygen or a special bed or wheelchair, contact your TRICARE medical case manager. They can advise you on equipment and transportation.
You can also contact your current installation’s household goods/transportation office (outbound) for information on special procedures for transporting medical equipment.
The Community Resource Guide (CRG), is a comprehensive listing of all the health and wellness resources on the installation.
Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP)
The Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) is a DA mandated program, IAW AR 600-75 & AR 608-1, designed to assist, through selective assignments, military personnel with family members having special needs. An effort is made to assign personnel to areas that have the agencies and facilities necessary to meet the needs of the special family member. This in no way has an adverse effort on the Soldiers military career. The EFMP works in concert with other military and civilian agencies to provide a comprehensive, coordinated, multi-agency approach for community support, housing, medical, educational and personnel services to families with special needs.
Upon receiving your PCS orders, visit your Army Community Service (ACS) EFMP office and get to know how this office can be of service to you. They can help you with any type of advocacy that you will need to get settled into your new community. The EFMP has a sub-committee that is called the "SNRT" (Special Resource Team) and this team will help you find the appropriate childcare for your child(ren) with special needs.
ACS offers support groups, quarterly newsletters and training. Quarterly meetings are held to discuss issues and concerns of families of EFM's. A multi-disciplinary committee meeting is held at Kenner Health Clinic in order to provide immediate services to families with seriously ill members who may need the expertise of many professionals quickly. ACS will also service DA civilians who are going overseas to inform them of available services. Respite care services are provided to those who require this service. When reporting to your new duty station, report in at ACS and ask to talk to the EFMP Coordinator. Don't' wait and go through the frustrations of trying to find services alone.
You may contact the EFMP, ACS Office, Fort Gregg-Adams at 804-734-6381 .