Medicaid for Military Families

Your child, if qualified, can get benefits from BOTH Medicaid and TRICARE. This includes children who get benefits from the TRICARE Extended Care Health Option (ECHO) program.

Beneficiary Counseling and Assistance Coordinators at TRICARE can answer questions about receiving Medicaid benefits while on TRICARE.

Your child may qualify for certain Medicaid programs called waivers, even if your family income is too high to qualify for regular Medicaid.

You may have heard that Medicaid waiver programs in some states have long waiting lists, and that it’s not worth applying since you may have to move before your child can get benefits. However, waiting lists are not always first-come, first-served. They can be based on type and severity of disability, or on availability of providers and services. Your child might get benefits sooner than you think!

Each state runs its own Medicaid program, and your child’s benefits do not automatically transfer from one state to the next. You must reapply to get benefits for your child whenever you move to another state.

 Some states have passed or are considering legislation to allow military families to apply and to retain their position on the wait list if they move out of state and plan to return to that state. In cases like this, families are responsible for keeping their Case Manager informed as to their current location. Changes in status must be reported promptly to the Case Manager.  For more information, check this article about Medicaid Waivers on Military Onesource.

When your family’s service member retires or separates from the military, your child’s eligibility for TRICARE’s Extended Care Health Option (ECHO) will end after any transitional period.  Medicaid can provide services similar to those of ECHO. Apply for Medicaid benefits for your child in the state in which you will be living after retirement or separation, and apply before any transitional period starts. This will help prevent or minimize any gaps in your child’s services and supports.