Telemedicine

TRICARE covers the use of secure video conferencing to provide medically necessaryTo be medically necessary means it is appropriate, reasonable, and adequate for your condition. services. You connect securely with a provider using a computer or smartphone. This includes for certain:

  • Office visits
  • Preventive health screenings
  • Telemental health services (individual psychotherapy, psychiatric diagnostic interviews and exams, and medication management)
  • Services for End Stage Renal Disease 

Using Telemedicine Services

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

TRICARE recently revised its policy on telemedicine services. These changes are temporary during the national health emergency due to the pandemic. TRICARE will now:

  • Cover audio-only telemedicine visits.
  • Waive cost-shares and copayments for all covered telemedicine services. These services must be from a military provider or TRICARE network provider.
  • Allow more providers to offer telemedicine services. Some providers may not offer this service, so be sure to ask.
    • If you're overseas, the country where you live must allow telemedicine. The provider also must be licensed to practice where you live. Contact your TOP Regional Call Center for more information, including provider eligibility.

If you use TRICARE For Life, Medicare should cover telemedicine visits when the service and provider are payable by Medicare. This temporarily includes audio-only telemedicine visits. If they aren't payable by Medicare, TRICARE For Life will process as first payer. Deductibles and cost-shares will then apply. Learn more about Medicare coverage.

As of Mar. 31, 2020, TRICARE covers telehealth care for applied behavior analysis (ABA) parent or caregiver guidance services under the Autism Care Demonstration. This is an ongoing temporary change during the national health emergency due to the pandemic

Disclaimer:

This list of covered services is not all inclusive. TRICARE covers services that are medically necessary and considered proven. There are special rules or limits on certain services, and some services are excluded.

Last Updated 8/24/2020