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Learn About TRICARE Special Programs

Oftentimes, TRICARE members look for TRICARE supplement programs or health plan alternatives following TRICARE enrollment. Programs such as TAMP TRICARE offer health coverage for a certain length of time to allow members to transition to non-military health insurance. Other TRICARE special programs provide resources and medical care not covered under regular TRICARE.

TRICARE supplemental and special programs offer extended coverage tailored to meet the health needs of specific patients. There are different ways to qualify for these programs. Some have eligibility prerequisites that are based on plan, status or category, while others are only available to patients who have specific health conditions. In some cases, patients must be within a certain geographic region to receive benefits, or in other cases, are subject to a waitlist if program capacity is limited. Below you will find useful information on the following special programs:

  • TRICARE Supplement Insurance Plan
  • TRICARE PLUS
  • Transitional Assistance Management Program (TAMP)
  • Chiropractor Health Care Program
  • Combat Related Special Compensation (CRSC)
  • Extended Care Health Option (TRICARE ECHO)
  • Continued Health Care Benefit Program
  • TRICARE Autism Coverage
  • TRICARE Travel Benefit
  • Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT)

Find Out About TRICARE Supplement Insurance Plans

Private insurers offer TRICARE supplement insurance plans to help members with TRICARE cover some of the out-of-pocket health care costs that accompany military benefits. There are many companies that offer this type of coverage. Common out-of-pocket expenses covered include co-pays, cost-shares and deductibles.

These plans have TRICARE eligibility requirements that policyholders must meet in order to purchase. While they can be an added expense, these types of plans can pay for themselves over time depending on how often medical services are needed.

Information About TRICARE Plus

TRICARE Plus is available at some military hospitals and military clinics. It is a primary care program that some TRICARE-eligible individuals qualify for. This care costs nothing out of pocket but eligibility conditions apply, and specialty care and referrals are not covered.

What is the Transitional Assistance Management Program (TAMP)?

TAMP TRICARE offers extended coverage of military health care benefits to sponsors and eligible family members in specific situations of both voluntary and involuntary leave. This TRICARE special health plan does not require the beneficiary to pay premiums. While within the window of eligibility for this special coverage, sponsors and their family members may choose from the following options for TRICARE plus military hospitals and clinics:

  • TRICARE Prime
  • TRICARE Select
  • US Family Health Plan
  • TRICARE Prime Overseas
  • TRICARE Select Overseas

What is the TRICARE Chiropractor Program?

As an alternative to TRICARE chiropractor coverage (TRICARE does not cover chiropractic care), the Chiropractic Health Care Program is offered for active duty service members. Furthermore, services covered under this program are only available at certain military clinics and hospitals.

Learn About Combat-Related Special Compensation (CRSC)

Eligible disabled military and non-disabled military retirees can file a CRSC application with their branch of service if they have experienced combat-related disabilities. This is a tax-free monthly entitlement that is paid in addition to any other retirement pay. Retroactive payment is also a possibility after an account audit.

Find Out About the Extended Care Health Option (TRICARE ECHO)

TRICARE ECHO, formerly the Program for Persons with Disabilities, provides financial help to eligible candidates based on particular physical or mental disabilities. ECHO provides resources, services and supplies that basic TRICARE does not cover. TRICARE ECHO is a cost-share financial assistance plan provided monthly based on the pay grade of the beneficiary’s sponsor.

To learn more about what specific types of equipment and services this financial TRICARE supplement can be used for, download our free guide.

What is the Continued Health Care Benefit Program?

Similar to TRICARE Plus, this program provides temporary benefits after TRICARE eligibility expires. But unlike Plus, CHCBP is a premium-based health plan. This plan also lasts significantly longer than Plus. CHCBP meets the minimum requirements under the Affordable Care Act and serves to bridge the gap from military-based health care coverage into a civilian-based health care plan.

Get Information on TRICARE Autism Coverage

Coverage under TRICARE for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) encompasses a wide variety of services from occupational therapy to physician services. TRICARE autism requires a referral by your primary care manager (PCM) or, if using TRICARE Select, your family provider. Referral and authorization information will only be granted it your PCM or family provider believe it is necessary.

TRICARE ABA, or Applied Behavioral Analysis, is also available through ACD, the TRICARE Comprehensive Autism Care Demonstration (Autism Care Demo). This program, in place through 2023, seeks to define currently unestablished, uniform ABA coverage standards in the U.S. The goal of the demo is to ultimately develop a more efficient approach to delivering TRICARE ABA services via a viable economic model. To receive health care through the demo, follow the simplified steps below.

  1. Get a diagnosis.
  2. Obtain a referral and authorization.
  3. Schedule an appointment.

What is the TRICARE Travel Benefit?

TRICARE reimbursement for specialty care through the Prime Travel Benefit is a TRICARE supplement program that reimburses eligible beneficiaries for health care-related travel expenses. If you meet the following prerequisites, you may be eligible for TRICARE travel benefit reimbursement through the Prime Travel benefit:

  • You are not on active duty.
  • You have obtained a referral through your PCM for specialty services that are non-emergency but medically necessary.
  • The office of the provider of specialty care is more than 100 miles one-way from the office of your PCM (determined by the Defense Table of Official Distances), and there is no other provider offering the required specialty care services within 100 miles, whether military, network or non-network provider.

Learn About Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT)

MAT is a TRICARE supplement program for patients with substance use disorders. MAT combines mental health and drug therapies. If your TRICARE authorized provider has DEA special certification to prescribe drugs with buprenorphine such as suboxone, you may qualify. No prior authorization is needed, but there are prerequisites for this program including, but not limited to the following conditions:

  • Participant must have an opioid use disorder.
  • Participant must require detox that is medically monitored with direct access to medical attention.
  • Participant must be in need of medical support, but not round-the-clock medical care.

For more information on TRICARE special programs, download our comprehensive guide.