TRICARE Extends Mental Health Treatment Options

fm Exceptional Advocate eNewsletter, October 2017

TRICARE has expanded mental health and substance use disorder, or SUD, services, adding outpatient programs and expanding options for opioid treatment. The expansion improves access to care and increases opportunities for mental health and substance use disorder treatment. The changes include:

Increased substance use disorder treatment options. Improvements to SUD options include opioid treatment programs and office-based opioid treatment. Office visits with qualified TRICARE-authorized providers may include coverage of medications for opioid addiction.


Reduced limitations on number of treatments. There are no limits for the number of times beneficiaries can get SUD treatment, smoking cessation counseling or outpatient treatment per week. In addition, TRICARE removed the requirement for authorization after the eighth outpatient mental health or SUD visit.
Lower copayments and cost-shares. Non-active duty dependent beneficiaries, retirees, family members and survivors now pay lower copayments and cost-shares for mental health and SUD care. See the full list of updated mental health copayments and cost-shares on the TRICARE website.
New TRICARE-authorized provider options. A more streamlined process for providers and facilities means more options for TRICARE beneficiaries.
The changes remove unique certification requirements to be consistent with industry standards. In the coming months, new mental health and SUD institutional provider options, such as intensive outpatient programs, will be available.

The new services round out existing TRICARE-covered treatments, including:

Emergency and non-emergency inpatient hospitalization
Psychiatric residential treatment center care for children
Inpatient/residential SUD care
Partial hospitalization
Outpatient and office-based mental health and SUD treatment
For more information on the updated services and expanding treatment options for mental health and SUD, visit Mental Health Care on the TRICARE website. Contact your regional support contractor for services in your area.