FOR PLANNING PURPOSES CONTACT: Murray Press Office
Tuesday, November 26th, 2013 (202) 224-2834
SEATTLE: TODAY: Murray to Meet With Military Families, Children with Disabilities Not Covered by TRICARE
Despite state laws that require behavioral health coverage, military health plans currently deny care to many military children with disabilities
(Washington, D.C.) – This morning, at 10:00 AM PT, U.S. Senator Patty Murray will join military families and local behavioral health experts at the Haring Center at the University of Washington in Seattle to discuss legislation she introduced this week which would ensure that military families’ health plans provide adequate coverage for children and loved ones with disabilities. The amendment requires TRICARE, the Department of Defense health program for members of the military and their families, to provide coverage for behavioral health treatments, including applied behavior analysis (ABA).
Under current TRICARE policies, many children are denied coverage for ABA and critical behavioral health treatments, and those children who do receive care often receive less than the prescribed treatment. That places TRICARE behind the curve of thirty-four states and the District of Columbia, which require coverage of ABA as a medically necessary service for most children with a developmental disability.
There are 360,155 TRICARE beneficiaries in Washington state. CDC estimates that 1 in 88 children has been identified with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), which would often be treated through applied behavior analysis (ABA), and medical costs for children with autism spectrum disorder are estimated to be six times higher than for children without autism spectrum disorder. In addition to medical costs, intensive behavioral interventions for children with autism spectrum disorder can cost $40,000 to $60,000 per child per year.
A one-page summary of Sen. Murray’s legislation is available here.
WHO: U.S. Senator Patty Murray
Military families impacted by the law
Dr. Ilene Schwartz, Director of the Haring Center, University of Washington
Col. Dave Slotwinski, President of the WA State Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America
WHAT: Murray will meet with military families, local behavioral health experts to discuss her amendment ensuring access to health coverage for children with disabilities
WHEN: Today, November 26th, 2013
10:00 AM PT
WHERE: The Haring Center
University of Washington Medical Center (South end of the UW campus)
Seattle, WA 98195
Office of U.S. Senator Patty Murray