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 30 days) military families with special needs. ECHO offers certain 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
Registration in ECHO takes place via the TRICARE Managed Care Support Contractor (MCSC) in your region.
Supplies, equipment, and services covered by ECHO are listed on the TRICARE.mil website. A referral from doctors or therapists showing the need for said supplies or equipment is required. If families have difficulty getting referrals approved, they may contact their region’s information line for more guidance. ECHO also offers case management for some conditions/disabilities; this may be requested by calling the region’s information line. Note that case management may also be available to non-ECHO families with complex medical needs.