Extended Care Health Option (ECHO)

ECHO supplements the basic TRICARE program by providing financial assistance for an integrated set of services and supplies. For those who qualify, ECHO provides benefits not available through the basic TRICARE program.

Who's eligible?

ECHO is only available to active duty family members with qualifying conditions, including:

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
  • Serious physical disability
  • Moderate to severe mental retardation
  • Multiple disabilities (may qualify if there are two or more affecting separate body systems)
  • Extraordinary physical/psychological condition rendering the beneficiary homebound
  • Diagnosis of a neuromuscular developmental condition or other condition in an infant or toddler that is expected to precede a diagnosis of moderate to severe mental retardation or serious physical disability

What are the benefits?

ECHO provides benefits not available through the basic TRICARE program, including:

  • Medical and rehabilitative services
  • In-home respite services
  • Special education
  • Durable equipment, including adaptation and maintenance
  • Transportation under certain circumstances
  • Institution care when a residential environment is required
  • Assistive services (e.g., those from a qualified interpreter or translator)
  • Expanded in-home medical services through ECHO Home Health Care (EHHC)

How do I enroll?

Qualified beneficiaries must enroll in the Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) through the sponsor's branch of service, ensure the qualifying family member's disability is properly entered in DEERS and register for ECHO with a case manager. For more information, please call (800) 881-9227 with medical inquiries or (866) 323-7155 for behavioral health inquiries.

Costs and coverage limits

There are no enrollment fees, but beneficiaries must pay part of the monthly expenses for authorized ECHO benefits. The monthly cost-share is only one fee per sponsor, not per ECHO beneficiary. You only pay the cost-share if you use ECHO benefits during that calendar month. The monthly cost-share is based on the sponsor's pay grade.

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