Every Veteran and military member knows Tricare, the health insurance program which covers active duty military and many veterans. For some it conjures up feelings of comfort and safety; welcome health care in times of need. For others, just the mention of Tricare evokes sighs of exasperation. Why is this? Although Tricare is huge, one of the largest medical insurers in the country, it still does not always cover everything which plights our veterans.
Thousands of our veterans have suffered brain damage while fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, and thankfully science has kept up with the demand for newer and better treatments. Cognitive Rehabilitation Therapy is a long term treatment process which helps affected people re-learn various tasks. For some, these are as simple as learning to count, or how to remember where home is. Neurologists have spent the last few decades studying this therapy and many are convinced that although it is a long process and not always guaranteed to work, it is potentially beneficial to many.
This Cognitive Rehabilitation Therapy is one of those treatments for which Tricare is refusing to pay. Tricare defends their decision by presenting a study that they conducted to determine the legitimacy of the treatment. They concluded that there was not enough proof that the treatment was worth the investment. A group of fifty brain specialists, both civilian and military, disagree, instead saying that this Therapy is effective and has the potential to help many veterans with brain injuries.
Other groups of scientists, from private investigations to smaller, peer reviewed studies reach the same conclusion: that Cognitive Rehabilitation Therapy is effective. The treatment is available, now the veterans need Tricare to make it obtainable.
Photo thanks to Mikey G Ottawa under creative common license on Flickr.