TRICARE program offers assistance 24/7

News

TRICARE program offers assistance 24/7

by: Kim Suchek | .
.
published: October 22, 2012

Hello Military Community,

I would like to touch on a few areas within TRICARE that could come in handy for your family while overseas or when you PCS back to the States.

TRICARE Assistance Program (TRIAP)

This a fairly new program recently introduced by TRICARE, and is a way for service members and families to reach out to a counselor or professional  at any time. For eligible TRICARE beneficiaries, this capability is as close as your computer. In a four-minute video, “Getting the help you need, when you need it,” at www.TRICARE.mil/mentalhealth, service members and family members can reach out for help if they are struggling with feelings of stress, anxiety or depression.

To access information on TRIAP, go to www.TRICARE.mil/triap or go to your regional healthcare contractor’s website. TRIAP is web-based videoconferencing that provides short-term, solution-focused, nonmedical counseling for situations resulting from commonly occurring life circumstances such as deployments, stress, relationships, personal loss and parent-child communications. All TRIAP services, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year, are provided on a one-to-one basis, in the context of a confidential relationship with a licensed professional.

TRIAP services are available to active duty service members, active duty family members (children must be 18 or older).

If a beneficiary requests TRIAP services, they will receive an initial assessment with a licensed professional to determine if web-based counseling is an appropriate level of care. If video services are not possible or web-based counseling is an appropriate level of care, the licensed professional will refer the beneficiary to the correct organization to receive services.

If you can’t access TRIAP services or you are not currently eligible, you may receive behavioral health support by telephone through Military OneSource at 800-342-9647 or go to www.TRICARE.mil/mentalhealth to view other TRICARE behavioral health resources. TRIAP does not include medication management or financial counseling and is not for emergency situations. The Department of Defense and Veterans Affairs National Suicide Hotline is (800) 273-8255.

Extended Health Option (ECHO)

If a family member has special needs, a serious illness or sustains a serious injury, TRICARE has several programs in place to help. The TRICARE Extended Health Option (ECHO) provides assistance for active duty family members with physical or mental disabilities. The ECHO covers up to $36,000 per fiscal year in addition to regular TRICARE benefits to cover claims for care of a disabled family member. Some of the services ECHO can be used for include training, rehabilitation, special education (including applied behavioral analysis for the treatment of autism spectrum disorders), institutional care and, under certain circumstances, transportation to and from institutions or facilities. The benefit also includes ECHO Home Health Care, which provides skilled nursing care and other services for severely disabled beneficiaries and respite care for caregivers. To read more, visit www.myarmyonesource.com/news/2009/12/SpecialNeeds.

TRICARE Young Adult (TYA): A new premium-based health care plan for adult dependent children up to age 26. It can be purchased after eligibility coverage ends at age 21, or 23 if enrolled in a full course of study at an approved institution of higher learning. TYA provides access to medical and pharmacy benefits, but does not include dental.

TYA-TRICARE Standard is available worldwide, but TRICARE Prime will not be available until a later date. TYA participants may visit any TRICARE authorized provider, network or non-network provider but care at a military treatment facility is on a case by case basis only. TYA does not need a referral for any type of care but some services may require prior authorization. The type of provider determines how much the out-of-pocket expenses will cost. Just remember visiting a network provider will result in less out of pocket, in addition to the convenience of having the network provider file the claims directly.

TRICARE EXPANDS VACCINE PROGRAM

 TRICARE officials are expanding the number of preventive vaccines covered at retail network pharmacies. The expanded program covers immunizations for measles, mumps, shingles and many other preventable diseases. To see the expanded list of vaccines available from authorized TRICARE retail pharmacies visit the TRICARE Vaccines webpage at www.TRICARE.mil/vaccines. Be sure to check ahead before making a trip to the pharmacy to make sure it is part of the TRICARE network and authorized to offer the vaccines. Ensuring that the pharmacy has the needed vaccine in stock is also recommended.

NOTE: Gulf War Veterans with certain ailments like: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders and other hard to diagnose or undiagnosed illnesses, the current deadline for when the condition must have “appeared” was December 31, 2011. The VA is working to extend the deadline to December 31, 2018. So if you have any conditions that are “undiagnosed” or you failed to report, this is great news for those of you who did or are currently doing a tour in the Middle East.

 Do you have any resources from the area that you live that would be beneficial to another military family? Please contact me and tell me about it, I would love to hear from you.

Blessing from my family to yours,

Kim Suchek

If you have any questions or concerns or would like to share a story or situation, contact me at Kim@MilitaryResourceBooks.com and visit my website for updated information and other Resource not listed in my book.

Related article: 'The best thing . . . is write from the heart'