Autism healthcare cuts coming for military families

Lana Bandoim's picture
TRICARE cuts to impact autism servicdes

Cuts are coming to TRICARE, and military families are worried that they will have an impact on their ability to afford autism services. It is possible for healthcare plans to be cut by as much as 50 percent. Families with autistic loved ones are concerned they will not be able to get therapy with the reduced rates.

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The Pentagon’s decision to make healthcare cuts could have a negative impact on families with autistic children. The reductions would mean that providers would receive less money, and some are already warning families they will not be able to continue to provide services. This has left some people wondering how they will pay for behavioral therapy and other services on their own.

A recent survey found that 95 percent of healthcare providers will reduce services if the cuts are allowed to go through, so families have legitimate concerns. There is another disturbing aspect to the potential changes that will affect people with autism. New limits and regulations will be set, so some providers are worried their ability to work with children will be affected.

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Families have been speaking out against the changes by voicing their anxiety to lawmakers and the media. They claim the decision to introduce the Comprehensive Autism Care Demonstration program instead of the current healthcare coverage means the quality of the care will be diminished. They point to new rules that would not allow autistic children to have ABA therapy after two years. By limiting therapy to two years, families believe children will suffer long-term damage.

“I am very concerned regarding the restricted focus of services. My son is three years old and we are in the thick of it with potty training and focus. I just can’t believe they are making these decisions about treatment without consulting (health care professionals) on how this will affect our children,” explains Mandy Farmer who is the mother of an autistic child.

Read more about autism:
Airlines provide autism support: Advice for flying
Family being deported because of autistic child: Maria Sevilla reveals details

Image: Randam/Wikimedia Commons

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