Tricare-Insured Children ‘Face Barriers’ in Health Care

Tricare-Insured Children ‘Face Barriers’ in Health Care

Photo by: U.S. Army

Tricare-insured military children can face barriers to care, according to a study recently published in the Journal of Health Affairs.

The biggest barrier to health care access, the report says, is relocation. Frequent moves disrupt continuity of care but also pose an issue when a family relocates to an area where there are challenges such as transportation, provider availability or getting prompt appointments. 

The study’s results, published in the August issue of the journal, show an even greater gap for Tricare families who have children with behavioral health needs.

“Tricare-insured families, particularly those whose children have complex health care needs, face greater barriers to health care access and receipt of high-quality care than their peers do,” the report says.

The study, which was conducted from 2007 and 2015, compared the accessibility and quality of care for Tricare-insured families to families with public and commercial insurance and no insurance.

According to the report, this is the first study of its kind.

“[P]ediatric health care experience among military families is rarely compared to that among civilian families,” the report says. “The lack of data limits the Pentagon’s ability to make evidence- informed programmatic and policy decisions related to Tricare and health services for military families.”

Read the full report here.