Monday, November 25, 2013

Tuesday Murray meets with Military Families, Children with Disabilities Not Covered by TRICARE

Senator Patty Murray is the Chair of the Senate Budget Committee and serves on the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee. Her office issued the following:

FOR PLANNING PURPOSES                        CONTACT: Murray Press Office
Monday, November 25th, 2013                                          (202) 224-2834

SEATTLE: TOMORROW: 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.) – Tomorrow, November 26th,  2013 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:        Tuesday, 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


murray illustration

Sean Coit
Press Secretary
Office of U.S. Senator Patty Murray

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