Urgent Care

When unexpected medical care is needed, especially after hours or on weekends, it can be difficult to know what type of care you need and where to go. Urgent medical care does not threaten life, limb or eyesight, but needs attention to prevent it from becoming a serious risk to health. Your primary care manager (PCM) is your best resource for deciding where and when to get care.

Steps to take to obtain this care:

  1. Call your PCM or family doctor.
  2. If your PCM or family doctor cannot provide care on the day you call, you will be directed to use a local network urgent care provider, if medically appropriate. 
  3. Visit our Network Provider Directory to locate an urgent care provider. When using the directory, type in your ZIP code and under Specialty select Urgent Care Center or Convenient Care Clinic.

Approval Requirements

TRICARE Prime plans

TRICARE Prime beneficiaries, except for active duty service members (ADSMs) enrolled in TRICARE Prime, do not need a referral for urgent care and Point of Service will not apply when seeking urgent care from the following:

  • any network or non-network urgent care center (must be TRICARE-authorized)
  • any network primary care type provider (family practice, general practice, internal medicine, pediatrics, OB/GYN, physician assistant, nurse practitioner, or certified nurse midwife)

Active duty service members enrolled in TRICARE Prime still require a referral for urgent care; however, ADSMs enrolled in TRICARE Prime Remote do not require a referral due to their remote location.

All other plans

  • There is no referral requirement for urgent care, and care may be rendered by any network or non-network provider.

Note: TRICARE Overseas Program enrollees who are traveling and seeking stateside urgent care do not require a referral.

TRICARE's Nurse Advice Line

TRICARE beneficiaries are eligible to call the TRICARE Nurse Advice Line (NAL), to get help making decisions regarding acute health problems. This advice line is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and staffed with professional registered nurses who will assist you in answering questions and provide help with decisions regarding self-care at home or when it is best to see a healthcare provider. 

To access the Nurse Advice Line, dial 1-800-TRICARE (1-800-874-2273) and choose option 1.