Mental Health Care
Mental health care is an important TRICARE benefit, and we want to make sure you have all the information and resources you need. The information below summarizes benefits available through the TRICARE programs and other resources.
Prior Authorization and Referral Requirements
Approval from Health Net Federal Services, LLC (HNFS) may be required for mental health care depending on your TRICARE plan option. If you are seeing more than one provider, it is important to keep all providers informed so they are aware of any medications and treatment you may be receiving.
To determine if a service requires an approval from HNFS, use the Prior Authorization, Referral and Benefit Tool or talk with your provider.
Written Referral and Oversight of Care
TRICARE Prime, TRICARE Prime Remote and TRICARE Young Adult Prime beneficiaries have a primary care manager (PCM) who is responsible for coordinating all care. The PCM can help you determine what type of provider is right for you.
If you want to seek treatment from a supervised licensed pastoral counselor, a supervised mental health counselor or a supervised licensed professional counselor (LPC), a physician (MD or DO) who may or may not be your PCM, must provide you with a written physician referral (also known as a script) prior to the initial consultation with the provider. The referring physician must make an initial assessment and determine if the condition can be appropriately treated by a supervised licensed pastoral counselor, supervised mental health counselor or supervised LPC. In addition, the referring physician must agree to provide oversight for your treatment. Your PCM may provide this assessment and written physician referral or your PCM may request you meet with a psychiatric physician first. The psychiatric physician can then determine if one of these counselors is right for you and provide the written physician referral.
Outpatient mental health providers may include: psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, certified psychiatric nurse specialists, clinical social workers, supervised licensed pastoral counselors, supervised mental health counselors, and certified marriage and family therapists.
Learn about common mental health diagnoses, symptoms and treatment.