TRICARE makes traveling within the U.S. carefree

  • Published
  • By Staff
  • Air Force News Service
Preparing for a road trip or vacation requires planning -- what to pack, where to stay and what to do -- but taking a few minutes to think about health care before hitting the road can save a lot of hassles.

To reduce the chance of health care problems while traveling, beneficiaries should see their doctor to take care of any regular office visits or treatment for ongoing conditions before leaving town.

TRICARE Prime beneficiaries get routine care from their primary care manager (PCM), while TRICARE Standard beneficiaries can go to any TRICARE-authorized provider. Regardless of the TRICARE plan you use, it's a good idea to get routine care before leaving home.

If beneficiaries need emergency care while traveling, they should immediately seek treatment by calling 911 or going to the nearest hospital emergency room.

Prime beneficiaries do not need prior authorization for emergency care, but they should notify their PCM within 24 hours, or on the next business day, so follow-up care can be coordinated. TRICARE Standard beneficiaries have no follow-up requirements after receiving emergency care.

Beneficiaries who need medical treatment for urgent illnesses that are not an emergency may go to an urgent care facility. For urgent care, beneficiaries should contact their PCM for a referral or call their regional health care contractor for assistance before receiving care.

For Prime beneficiaries, failure to obtain a referral may cause care to be covered under the point-of-service option, which means higher costs.

Before traveling, TRICARE beneficiaries should make sure their Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System information is accurate. For more information about DEERS and how to update DEERS records go to

Beneficiaries who take prescription medicine should order refills before their trip. If it's necessary to get a refill while on the road, the nearest network pharmacy in the U.S. can be found at

Beneficiaries should save all medical receipts. This is one of the most important things beneficiaries can do while traveling away from home.

For more information about using TRICARE while traveling, beneficiaries can go to or contact their regional health care contractor.