Government and Regulations

TRICARE Covering TMS for Major Depressive Disorder

Effective immediately, TRICARE covers transcranial magnetic stimulation as a basic benefit.


TRICARE recently announced it will cover transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) as a treatment for major depressive disorder. Transcranial magnetic stimulation is used when other depression treatments have not been effective. Only half the patients treated for major depressive disorder with medication and talk therapy show lasting results.

Transcranial magnetic stimulation is noninvasive, and treatments are typically outpatient, not requiring anesthesia. An electromagnetic coil placed against the scalp delivers a magnetic pulse through the skull, inducing a low-level current. The patient receives multiple pulses over several seconds. The electrical pulses stimulate nerve cells in the region of the brain that controls mood and depression. Each treatment session lasts about 40 minutes.

The new benefit is effective now. It is not part of a pilot or demonstration program but is part of the basic TRICARE benefit.

Recommended Reading

A Real Welcome Home: Permanent Housing for Homeless Veterans
Federal Practitioner
Academic Reasonable Accommodations for Post-9/11 Veterans With Psychiatric Diagnoses, Part 2
Federal Practitioner
Veteran Suicide Prevention Efforts Under Scrutiny
Federal Practitioner
Discrimination, Dignity, and Duty
Federal Practitioner
Grants Available for Native American Mental Health Programs
Federal Practitioner

Related Articles