Tricare to offer Families respite care
Story by: EFMP Staff
Story by: Shari Lopatin, TRIWEST HEALTHCARE ALLIANCE
Sometimes, as the caregiver, you desperately need a caretaker.
You love your children, you love your Family, but caring for someone with a disability can be stressful. Programs are available to support military Families caring for someone with special needs.
Respite care offers caregivers a temporary break when they are looking after a Family member with special needs. Tricare offers a respite benefit for those who qualify.
This "home health care" benefit allows a skilled professional to come to your home up to eight hours per day, five days per week. It was designed to provide much needed rest for a caregiver looking after a homebound patient who requires frequent skilled medical attention. However, this benefit cannot be used for other reasons, such as babysitting, coverage during employment, deployment or pursuing education.
Tricare also offers another respite benefit for those who qualify. This one covers short-term care to provide rest for caregivers looking after a loved one with special needs at home. The benefit allows beneficiaries to receive up to 16 hours of respite care in a calendar month, as long as another ECHO benefit is being used, like ABA therapy. A specially trained home health aide would provide this care, not a nurse.
To be considered for either respite benefit, a Family member must first be registered in Tricare's ECHO program. After registration in ECHO, an assigned ECHO nurse can help to determine eligibility for the benefits.
For more information on the respite benefit, talk to your ECHO nurse or contact the ECHO Information and Referral line at 866-212-0442.
TRICARE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
The Tricare Assistance Program offers "face-to-face" non-medical counseling over web-based video for eligible Tricare beneficiaries. With an Internet-connected computer and a webcam, you can talk to licensed counselors about issues including stress, parenting and relationship problems. These discussions are non-reportable, unless required by law, and are available 24/7, so you can make an appointment that works with your schedule.
For more information on TRIAP, visit www.triwest.com/OnlineCare.