Defense Health Agency
As of Jan. 1, 2018, most TRICARE Prime enrollees no longer need a referral for urgent care visits, and point-of-service charges no longer apply for urgent care claims. This change replaces the previous policy, which waived referrals for the first two urgent care visits per year.
Active-duty service members should continue to visit military hospitals and clinics for care. Those enrolled in TRICARE Prime Remote who do not live near a military hospital or clinic do not need a referral when seeking an urgent care visit.
“We wanted our service members’ families and others to have easier access to urgent care,” explained Ken Canestrini, the acting director of TRICARE Health Plan within the Defense Health Agency. “Beneficiaries can go visit an urgent care center right away anytime they have a need.”
If you use TRICARE Select or any other TRICARE plan, you may visit any TRICARE-authorized provider, network or non-network, for urgent care.
Urgent care is care you need for a non-emergency illness or injury requiring treatment within 24 hours. Examples of urgent care conditions include a sprain, rising temperature or sore throat. It isn’t an emergency and doesn’t threaten life, limb or eyesight.
If you’re unsure whether to seek urgent care, call the 24/7 Nurse Advice Line at 1-800-TRICARE (874-2273) – Option 1. You’ll speak with a registered nurse who can answer your questions and give advice. The nurse can also assist you with finding a provider and scheduling an appointment.
If you need care after hours, while traveling or if your primary care manager is unavailable, urgent care is a great option. Contact your regional contractor to help you find an appropriate urgent care facility or provider. You may also use the TRICARE provider search tool.
Any TRICARE Overseas Prime enrollees requiring urgent care while TDY or on leave status in the 50 states and the District of Columbia may access urgent care without a referral or an authorization, but active-duty service members must follow-up with their PCM in accordance with applicable DoD and service regulations concerning their care outside MTFs.
This is your benefit. Learn more about the changes and take command of your health!
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