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Summer Travel: Getting Care While Overseas

7/5/2018

Summer vacation is the start of travel season for many military families. TRICARE covers you when you travel on business or take a vacation with family. When traveling overseas, you should know what to do in the event of illness or other health issues.

Before You Leave

You should get routine and specialty care before you leave for your trip. Otherwise, your care may not be authorized when you’re on your trip. When overseas, you can seek urgent and emergency care from any host nation provider. However, your rules for getting care depend on your plan and travel destination. Before you travel, follow these steps:

1. Get Prescriptions Filled or Refilled

  • Pack prescription medications in your carry-on luggage.
  • Find a network pharmacy where you’re traveling (just in case).

2. Pack a List of Phone Numbers

3. Update Your Information in Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting SystemClick to close(DEERS) A database of information on uniformed services members (sponsors), U.S.-sponsored foreign military, DoD and uniformed services civilians, other personnel as directed by the DoD, and their family members. You need to register in DEERS to get TRICARE. (DEERS)

While You’re Away

To get help or to find a provider when traveling, contact the appropriate TRICARE Overseas Program Regional Call Center. You may also call the Medical Assistance number for the area where you’re located for assistance.   

In an emergency, go to the nearest emergency care facility, or call the Medical Assistance number for the area where you are. When overseas, remember these additional points:

  • You may need to pay upfront for services and file a claim to get money back.
  • Keep all receipts and file claims with the TRICARE Overseas Program claims processor, not with your regional contractor in the U.S. If enrolled in the Uniformed Services Family Health Plan or Continued Health Care Benefit Program, file claims with your respective contractor regardless of where you received care.
  • If you’re admitted to a hospital, call your Overseas Regional Call Center before leaving the facility, preferably within 24 hours or on the next business day.
  • If you’re an active duty service member and admitted to a hospital, call your primary care manager or your Overseas Regional Call Center. You should do this before leaving the facility, preferably within 24 hours or on the next business day. This will help in the event that you need to coordinate authorization, continued care, and payment.
  • TRICARE covers air evacuations to the closest safe location that can provide the required care when medically necessaryClick to closeTo be medically necessary means it is appropriate, reasonable, and adequate for your condition. and appropriate.
  • See specific rules for getting urgent care overseas based on your TRICARE plan.

Visit the TRICARE website and select your plan for more guidelines when traveling overseas.

Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly reported that stateside beneficiaries must file claims in the region where they live, not where they get the care. However, stateside beneficiaries who receive care overseas should file claims with the TRICARE Overseas Program claims processor, not with their regional contractor in the U.S.

Last Updated 7/31/2018