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United States Army
Fort Rucker, AL 36362
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.
Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP)
The Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) is a mandatory enrollment program that works with other military and civilian agencies to provide comprehensive and coordinated medical, educational, housing, community support, and personnel services to families with special needs.
An Exceptional Family Member (EFM) is a dependent (child or adult) of an active duty Soldier who has any physical, emotional, developmental or intellectual impairment that requires any specialized treatment, therapy, training, or counseling.
EFMP enrollment is conducted at Lyster Army Health Clinic's EFMP. Soldiers inprocessing to Fort Rucker are screened for special needs. All active duty soldiers with identified EFMs must apply for EFMP enrollment. Failure to apply for enrollment may result in reassignment to a location that cannot meet a family member's special medical/educational needs. Sanctions may be imposed against soldiers who knowingly conceal information about an EFM and fail or refuse to apply for enrollment. Enrollment does not adversely affect selection for promotions, schools, or assignments. Information concerning enrollment in EFMP or any of the data used in the program is not made available to selection boards.
The Army will consider the special needs of enrolled EFMs during the assignment process and will attempt to assign the soldier to an area where the needs of the family member can be met.
Special Education -- Special education needs are only considered in assignments outside the United States. Assignments within our 50 States and Trust Territories are not based on the educational needs of children. Every local school system must obey public laws regarding the provision of special education.
The EFMP suggests that transferring soldiers with school-aged EFM's hand-carry the following when they PCS:
The EFMP Manager can assist your family in relocating and becoming knowledgeable about the installation and the surrounding community's resources and support services.
Lyster Army Health Clinic (LAHC) is a half mile from the post housing area. LAHC has no Emergency Room and specialties are limited.