Assistance Programs - Health Care Special Needs

Exceptional Family Member Program
The Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) is mandatory for all family members who have been identified with a special medical or educational need. Enrolling in the EFMP ensures that the family member's medical needs will be considered during the assignment coordination process.

Military Treatment Facility
The clinics and services available at Military Treatment Facilities vary by location. Before you move, identify the MTF that will serve you, visit the MTF's website to learn about the clinics and services available and to get relevant contact information.

Moving to a New TRICARE Region
If you anticipate a move to another TRICARE region , work with your local TRICARE Service Center (TSC) or case manager before your move to ensure the transition is as smooth as possible. On arrival at the new duty location, your sponsor should contact the Beneficiary Counseling and Assistance Coordinator (BCAC)or TSC to ensure the transition plans are in place and to obtain authorizations for TRICARE Extended Care Health Option (ECHO) services, if applicable.

Beneficiary Counseling and Assistance Coordinator (BCAC)
All TRICARE Regional Offices and most MTFs are staffed with BCACs (formerly known as Health Benefits Advisors.) BCACs provide information, guidance and assistance on benefit options, TRICARE Prime enrollment, special authorizations, status of claims and eligibility, plus assistance with referrals and appointments. If you or your family member has a more severe medical need, contact your assigned case manager.

Case Management
Case management involves a team of health care professionals who help you and your family to find solutions to complex health problems. It is important to inform your case manager if you are moving as he/she will connect you with the case manager at your new location.

Extended Care Health Option (ECHO)
TRICARE ECHO provides financial assistance to beneficiaries of active duty service members who qualify based on specific mental or physical disabilities. ECHO offers an integrated set of services and supplies beyond the basic TRICARE program. ECHO is administered by regional contractors in the TRICARE North, South, and West Regions and by TRICARE Regional Offices in overseas locations.

Transporting Medical Equipment
Your Installation Transportation Office has special procedures to follow for the transportation of medical equipment that is necessary for medical treatment required by the sponsor or family member. Some types of medical equipment may be shipped in the same manner as Professional Books, Papers, and Equipment (PBP&E).

Federal and State Health Care Programs
Medicaid - Medicaid pays for medical assistance for certain individuals and families with low incomes and resources. State Medicaid programs are usually administered by departments of social service or departments of medical assistance.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) - SSI is a cash assistance program intended to meet basic needs for food, clothing and shelter for those who are aged, blind or disabled. It provides cash to meet basic needs for food, clothing, and shelter. Families must reapply upon each move to another state.

Title V of the Social Security Act -Many states have services for children with special health care needs that are funded by the Maternal and Child Health Services Block Grant, or Title V. State departments of health web sites and local health departments will provide information on state health benefits for children with special health care needs. The Maternal and Child Health Bureaus' web site has Title V information organized by State that provide you with Title V points of contact and other pertinent information.

Other Important Resources
Debt Collection Assistance Officer (DCAO) - TRICARE has a DCAO assigned to TRICARE Regional Offices and MTFs worldwide to help beneficiaries understand and get assistance with debt collection problems related to TRICARE. Individuals who have received a notice from a collection agency or a negative credit report because of a medical or dental bill should be referred to the nearest DCAO .

Family Voices -Family Voices is a national, grassroots clearinghouse for information and education concerning the health care of children with special health needs. Family Voices also has State points of contacts with useful links to State programs and organizations.

Installation Special Needs

Special Needs Identification and Assignment Coordination (SNIAC)

The SNIAC process is a program specifically designed for active duty families to:

Ensure availability of services for family members of active duty military personnel in the event of a PCS move.
  • Assists families with relocation when a medical or special education condition exists and services are not available at the current or PCS location.
  • Assist families in finding needed resources both on base and in the community.
A medical special need means that the family member requires specialized medical care (urology, neurology, psychiatry, developmental pediatrics, etc.) for an ongoing, chronic illness.

An educational special need means that a family member requires special educational services in order to progress academically. These services are identified in an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or Individualized Family Service Plan and may include resource rooms, psychological services, occupational or physical therapy, and/or adaptive equipment.

Enrollment is mandatory for all active duty military personnel who have a family member with a special need. SNIAC personnel can help to ensure needed services will be available, on or off base, prior to a PCS move. They can also help with SNIAC reassignments and deferments.

The Air Force ensures families with special needs are assigned to locations where required services are available. Family Member Relocation Clearance (FMRC) is a screening process used to identify special needs and determine the availability of services at projected locations. The SNIAC process does not affect who is eligible for PCS, TDY, or mobility. Enrollment will continue as long as a special need exists.