Mental health care has become a hot-button issue in our society. In light of the changing needs of military families and the increased awareness for mental health care, the Department of Defense released new, proposed mental health regulation changes for TRICARE in February 2016. These proposed guidelines affect the entirety of TRICARE’s beneficiaries: sponsors, spouses, and children alike.
Military children’s advocates, including TRICARE for Kids and the National Association for Children’s Behavioral Health (NACBH), are suggesting revisions that more closely suit the needs of military children affected by mental health issues. Read NACBH’s comments in full here.
Advocate, military spouse, veteran, and 2012 Armed Forces Insurance Military Spouse of the Year, Jeremy Hilton, lists the three major points the NACBH brings to the DoD:
- The TRICARE mental health regulations “should better conform” to the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, even though the DoD is not subject to them.
- The new regulations do not “allow for intensive outpatient treatment or partial hospitalization programs” for children younger than 13.
- The current certification process and standards that make it difficult for providers to participate are being replaced with new standards and certification that could continue to have the same prohibitive effect.