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Licensing Requirements for Mental Health Care Providers

Mental health care providers must meet the licensing requirements found in TRICARE Policy Manual, Chapter 11.

According to federal regulations governing the TRICARE program (32 CFR 199.6), individual providers must currently be licensed in the state where professional health care services are being rendered to TRICARE beneficiaries. When a state does not offer an individual professional license, certification by a qualified accreditation organization, as defined in 32 CFR 199.2, is required. 

The following licensures are accepted for TRICARE certification: 

  • Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC)
  • Licensed Clinical Marriage and Family Therapist (LCMFT)
  • Licensed Specialist Clinical Social Worker (LSCSW)
  • Licensed Clinical Psychotherapist (LCP)
    • With a master’s degree can participate as a supervised mental health counselor
    • With a doctoral degree can participate as a psychologist
  • Licensed psychologist

TRICARE policy requirements for specific provider types may be found in the TRICARE Policy Manual (TPM) at http://manuals.tricare.osd.mil:

  • TPM Chapter 11, Section 3.6, Certified Clinical Social Worker (CSW)
  • TPM Chapter 11, Section 3.8, Clinical Psychologist
  • TPM Chapter 11, Section 3.9, Certified Marriage and Family Therapist
  • TPM Chapter 11, Section 3.11,Mental Health Counselor

Redirecting Patients

Providers who do not meet certification criteria based on licensure will have their TRICARE certification terminated, and impacted patients will be asked to seek treatment from mental health providers who are TRICARE-authorized. (HNFS will issue notifications to affected providers and beneficiaries.)

HNFS can assist patients in finding an alternate provider. We will provide the opportunity for practices to redistribute patients to other providers within the practice, if capacity is available and the patient chooses to stay with the same practice.

If a mental health provider has another license (for example, as an advanced practice nurse) or has recently obtained a mental health licensure at an independent clinical level, HNFS would welcome an application for network provider status or TRICARE certification with updated credentials.