What is the Extended Care Health Option (ECHO) and how do I enroll?
ECHO is a supplemental benefit for Active Duty (or activated National Guard/Reserves if activated for more than thirty days) military special needs families. ECHO offers services and supplies that are not available through the basic TRICARE program and will cover up to $36,000 a year in qualifying expenses.
In order for a family to qualify for ECHO, their special needs dependent must:
- Have a qualifying diagnosis (as determined by the regional managed-care support contractor)
- Be enrolled in EFMP
Families will need to enroll in ECHO via their installation’s EFMP office or in some remote cases by calling their TRICARE region’s ECHO line for more guidance.
Supplies, equipment and services covered by ECHO may vary from contractor to contractor and year to year. Families need to have their doctors or therapists write a referral showing the need for said supplies or equipment. It is sent first to TRICARE, then to ECHO for approval or denial. If families have a difficult time getting their referrals approved, they can contact their region’s ECHO line for more guidance. ECHO also offers case management for some conditions/disabilities and families can request this by calling their region’s ECHO line.