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Getting behavioral health treatment easier with Tricare

12/20/2007 - FALLS CHURCH, Va. (AFPN) -- Tricare officials want its non-active duty beneficiaries to know that if they need help, there is no reason to hesitate.

Non-active duty beneficiaries may make their first eight outpatient behavioral health care visits per fiscal year without a referral from a primary care manager or prior authorization from their managed care support contractor.

Family members sometimes avoid getting treatment because they fear it could reflect poorly on the servicemember. 

"Tricare makes it faster, easier and more private for families to get treatment by eliminating the referral and authorization process for the first eight visits," said Army Maj. Gen. Elder Granger, deputy director, Tricare Management Activity. "It is important for families to seek treatment for behavioral health symptoms as early as possible."

To avoid the 50 percent cost share for behavioral health visits, Tricare prime beneficiaries must seek care from a Tricare network provider, and Tricare Overseas Program beneficiaries must seek care from an overseas partnership provider. Tricare Standard beneficiaries are encouraged to seek care from a Tricare authorized provider to reduce their out-of-pocket expenses.

Beneficiaries may seek help from the following Tricare authorized behavioral health professionals: Psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, certified psychiatric nurse specialists, clinical social workers, and certified marriage and family therapists.

After the first eight visits, the beneficiary must obtain authorization from their MCSC for additional visits.

An anonymous behavioral health self-assessment aid is available at www.militarymentalhealth.org./chooselang.asp. The Military One Source Web site at www.militaryonesource.com is also useful for resources and information on behavioral health.

For more information about treatment options, providers or prior authorization requirements, visit the mental health and behavioral page at www.tricare.mil.

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