With TRICARE, Help From a Nurse is Just a Call Away

4/21/2020

With the impact that COVID-19 and social distancing is having on everyday life, you may be unsure how to get the care you need for any medical concern. With TRICARE and the Military Health System (MHS) Nurse Advice Line, you can. Whether you’re dealing with an ankle sprain or a sore throat, you can use the MHS Nurse Advice Line and get health advice from a registered nurse anytime, at no cost, from the comfort of your home.

“Virtual care has become valuable for health care providers and patients during the coronavirus pandemic,” said U.S. Public Health Service Lt. Bobby Taylor, MHS Nurse Advice Line program manager. “This resource allows you to practice social distancing and still get the answers to your health questions and concerns.”

With this resource, a registered nurse is available 24/7 to:

  • Answer your health care questions.
  • Assess your symptoms and give recommendations for the most appropriate level of care.
  • Provide instructions to treat minor issues at home.
  • Help locate an appropriate care facility, if necessary.
  • Help you schedule an appointment within 24 hours at a military hospital or clinic if you’re enrolled.

The MHS Nurse Advice Line is for beneficiaries living or traveling in the U.S., or in a country with a military hospital or clinic. You can call and speak to a nurse by phone. If you’re in the U.S., Guam, or Puerto Rico, call 1-800-TRICARE (1-800-874-2273), then choose option 1. You can find all other country-specific phone numbers on the website. Note that this service isn’t available if you’re enrolled in the US Family Health Plan, which has its own nurse advice line.

The MHS Advice Line isn’t for emergencies. If you reasonably believe you have an emergency, call 911 or go to your nearest emergency roomThe hospital department that provides emergency services to patients who need immediate medical attention..

COVID-19 and the MHS Nurse Advice Line

You’re advised to call if you’re experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

This list does not include all possible symptoms.

A nurse will assess your condition. If the nurse believes your symptoms could be due to COVID-19, a virtual visit between you and a health care provider will be set up to discuss possible testing and treatment options.

If you’re experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, have been in close contact with someone sick from COVID-19, or traveled to an area where COVID-19 is widespread, don’t make an appointment or walk into your local military hospital or clinic. Instead, stay at home and contact your medical provider. Your medical provider will assess your condition and determine if you need to be tested.

Call 911 and get medical attention immediately if you develop emergency warning signs:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion
  • Inability to wake or stay awake
  • Bluish lips or face

Take command of your health and keep yourself and your family safe in this environment.

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This article was updated to include the COVID-19 symptoms released by the CDC on June 30, 2020.

At the time of posting, this information is current. Visit www.cdc.gov or the TRICARE FAQs for the most current COVID-19 information.

Last Updated 6/30/2020