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Non-Emergency Mental Health Care

Depending on your TRICARE plan, you have different rules for making mental health care appointments.

  • Active duty service members must have a referral and prior authorization.
  • Non-active duty Prime beneficiaries don't usually need a referral or prior authorization for the first eight outpatient visits. After the eighth visit (before the ninth), you'll need prior authorization.
  • If you use TRICARE For Life, Medicare is the primary payer for mental health services so you won't need a referral or authorization from TRICARE unless your Medicare benefits are exhausted.
  • When using any other health plan option, you never need a referral for outpatient mental health care. After the eighth visit, you'll need prior authorization.

For more specific information, please enter your profile at the top of the page or download the Behavioral Health Care Fact Sheet.

Not sure if you need help?

Take a voluntary, anonymous self-assessment to see if you have symptoms that are consistent with a condition that would benefit from further treatment or evaluation.

Last Updated 1/29/2014

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