Caregivers for military personnel are often long-term, caring for ill or wounded soldiers or service men and women. Tricare, the health insurance program for active-duty and retired members of the military, now offers a respite care benefit for those who are wounded or ill during active duty. If the injury has resulted in a physical disability or a challenging physical or psychological condition so severe that the active duty service members is left homebound, short-term care is available.
Caregiving can be stressful both emotionally and physically. The military member's case manager, military medical support office or military treatment facility may approve respite care when the care plan includes frequent primary caregiver interventions which means more than two during the eight-hour period each day that the primary caregiver would normally be sleeping.
Respite care benefits are limited to:
Up to 40 respite hours in a calendar week
No more than 5 days per calendar week
No more than 8 hours per calendar day
To Qualify for Tricare Respite Care:
- Must be Active Duty Service Member
- Have Serious Injury or Illness Resulting in Physical Disability or Extraordinary Physical or Psychological Conditions
- Have Care Plan Including Frequent Primary Caregiver Interventions
Respite care must be provided by a Tricare-authorized Home Health Agency (HHA). You can contact your regional health care contractor or Tricare Area Office for assistance finding an authorized HHA.
Authorized respite care does not cover care for family members or others who may reside with or visit you. To learn more about the respite care benefit, go to TRICARE’s website.
Reservists and National Guardsmen who are serving on active duty have the same medical benefits as regular military personnel. As reservists have had a larger role in combat operations overseas, Congress has broadened their medical benefits.
Home Health Agencies who want to provide respite care for military personnel can apply to be a Tricare home Health Agency using the application for their Tricare region.
Caring individuals interested in becoming a senior caregiver can learn about the caregiver job description, access online caregiver training and apply for a caregiving job in their area.