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:
- Call your PCM or family doctor.
- 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.
- 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.
- TRICARE Prime active duty service members (ADSMs) (not including TRICARE Prime Remote) must first contact their PCM so he/she can assess the level of care required and make arrangements to see the service member, schedule an appointment, or authorize civilian urgent care services as appropriate. A referral is required for all civilian urgent care services.
- All other beneficiaries do not require a referral or authorization when using a network or non-network urgent care clinic, convenient care clinic or primary care provider.
Note: TRICARE Overseas Program enrollees who are traveling and seeking stateside urgent care do not required 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.