Family therapy is considered outpatient psychotherapy and is a covered benefit when determined to be medically or psychologically necessary for treatment of a diagnosed mental health disorder. Family therapy may involve all or a portion of the family. The family generally includes the spouse of the patient with the mental health disorder, his or her children or, in the case of a child patient, the parents, stepparents, guardians, and siblings. When it is appropriate, other family members living in the same household could also be included.
Coverage includes any combination of individual, family or collateral sessions.
- Active duty service members (ADSMs) must have a referral from their primary care provider for all civilian mental health services, except for services authorized under Military OneSource, prior to receiving services from a TRICARE-authorized provider.
- TRICARE Prime beneficiaries (excluding ADSMs) do not require an approval from Health Net Federal Services, LLC (HNFS) when seeing a network provider. TRICARE Prime beneficiaries must have an approval from HNFS to see a non-network provider unless they choose to use their Point of Service option.
- TRICARE Select beneficiaries do not require an approval from HNFS.
Note: Certified marriage and family therapists must sign a participation agreement and are responsible for submitting all claims on behalf of the beneficiary.
Additional Resources for Family Therapy
Military OneSource – for active duty service members (ADSMs) and active duty family members (ADFMs)
- Military OneSource offers cost-free, confidential counseling sessions to eligible military personnel and their family members. Counseling is available in person or by phone and focuses on short-term issues, such as grief and loss, deployment adjustment, work/life management, and combat stress. Visit www.militaryonesource.com or call 1-800-342-9647.
- Active duty service members and their family members are not required to use TRICARE network providers for services provided by Military OneSource. However, those who continue counseling services under their TRICARE benefits after the Military OneSource benefits are exhausted may have higher out-of-pocket costs when seeing a non-network provider.
- For ADSMs, receiving a referral to a Military OneSource counselor is not the same as being referred by a primary care manager (PCM) or getting approval from the Defense Health Agency – Great Lakes (DHA-GL) service point of contact. While not required, it’s recommended ADSMs let their PCM know about short-term counseling received through Military OneSource, regardless of how long it lasts. This can help the PCM in managing the service member’s overall health.
Local military hospital or clinic – all TRICARE beneficiaries
- Check with your local military hopsital or clinic to see if family therapy is a benefit offered through the facility.
Community-based services – all TRICARE beneficiaries
- Check in your community to see if any city, county or state sponsored mental health services, social service agencies, community groups, or church-based couples/family services are available.