TRICARE Covers Certain Telemedicine Services in the U.S.


TRICARE covers certain telemedicine services. You may be able to see a TRICARE-authorized provider without leaving your home. Using a computer or smartphone, you connect with your provider by secure video conferencing. TRICARE also covers audio-only telemedicine services.

“In light of COVID-19, we want to cut down on patient and staff contact,” said Dr. John Kugler, director of the Clinical Support Division at the Defense Health Agency (DHA). “Telemedicine may be an option to meet with your provider.”

Ask your provider if they offer telemedicine services. Not all providers do. If you have TRICARE For Life, use Medicare guidance on telehealth.

Covered medically necessaryTo be medically necessary means it is appropriate, reasonable, and adequate for your condition. telemedicine services include some:

  • Office visits
  • Preventive health screenings
  • Telemental health services (individual psychotherapy, psychiatric diagnostic interviews and exams, and medication management)

Because of the public health emergency, the DHA is looking at the use of telemedicine. This includes finding new ways to support caregivers of those getting applied behavior analysis.

Using Telemedicine Services

Depending on your TRICARE plan, you may first need an authorization or referral. Ask your regional contractor for help. Active duty service members need a referral for telemental health care.

The Department of Defense and the DHA continue to monitor COVID-19 developments. Sign up for email alerts, read TRICARE and COVID-19 frequently asked questions, and check for other related updates on the TRICARE website. Read how to protect your household, and a list of common coronavirus questions and answers.  

This article was updated to include TRICARE's coverage of audio-only telehealth services on May 19, 2020.



At the time of posting, this information is current. Visit or TRICARE COVID Guidance for the most current COVID-19 information.

Last Updated 6/23/2020