Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) today announced that the Department of Defense will cover new care plans to support Alzheimer’s patients covered through TRICARE and their families. More than five million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s, and more than 15 million people serve as their caregivers. The Senators had strongly urged the Department of Defense to make sure that anyone who receives TRICARE could also have access to these new care plans.
“Alzheimer’s is a devastating disease that takes a tremendous personal and economic toll on millions of individuals as well as their family caregivers,” said Senator Collins. “As the Co-Chair of the Senate Alzheimer’s Task Force, I know the importance of ensuring that newly-diagnosed individuals and their families obtain essential support through care planning, which was one of the provisions of our HOPE for Alzheimer’s Act. I am delighted that the Department of Defense has recognized the importance of this benefit and will begin covering these services. I will continue to work to help Alzheimer’s patients and their caregivers receive the support they need.”
“This announcement is important to those living with Alzheimer's disease and the loved ones who help care for them every day,” said Senator Stabenow. “My HOPE for Alzheimer’s Act called for new care plans for Alzheimer’s patients and their families. I’m pleased that the Department of Defense has responded to our request to cover these vital services for service members, veterans, and their families.”
Senators Collins and Stabenow authored the Health Outcomes Planning and Education (HOPE) for Alzheimer’s Act, which requires Medicare to pay for an individual care plan for newly diagnosed Alzheimer's patients. This new benefit would encourage doctors to give a clear diagnosis to patients with Alzheimer’s disease, including information about treatment options and what medical and community services are available. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid effectively implemented the HOPE for Alzheimer’s Act starting on January 1, 2017.
TRICARE serves 9.5 million active duty service members, National Guard and Reserve members, retirees, family members, and survivors. With today’s announcement, anyone on TRICARE or Medicare now has access to this new benefit.