Get the Care You Need Now with TRICARE

4/30/2020

Like most Americans, you’ve probably been washing your hands frequently, social distancing, and adjusting to a new normal since early March. The Military Health System (MHS) has been adjusting as well. Your military hospitals and clinics are still very much open for business and well equipped to meet all of your health care needs. In most cases, you’ll meet virtually with your provider unless your provider decides in-person is more clinically appropriate.

If you have urgent or emergency health care needs, it’s important not to neglect your symptoms or suffer at home. If you’re concerned about being exposed to COVID-19 when you seek help, don’t be. Hospitals, clinics, and providers have multiple measures in place to keep you safe. The military hospital or clinic will work to minimize your possible exposure to COVID-19. Prompt treatment is key to avoiding serious health complications or even life-threatening situations.

“Don’t sit at home and wonder if abdominal pain will pass or if your ankle is broken,” said Regina Julian, chief of the Healthcare Optimization Division at the Defense Health Agency. “In any emergency, it’s critical that you seek prompt attention. However, if you think you also have COVID-19, you should let us know. Your military hospital or clinic is staffed, prepared, and eager to assist.”

What if you have non-urgent or non-emergency health concerns? You and your family members can still call your military hospital or clinic health care team to schedule an appointment. In many cases, you can schedule a virtual telehealth appointment with your provider. Certain virtual appointments are available through TRICARE Online Patient Portal Secure Messaging. And if necessary, your provider may want you to visit in person.

The MHS Nurse Advice Line is another option you can use. After a period of increased call volume in March, wait times now average less than 10 seconds. You can speak with a registered nurse 24/7 by calling 1-800-TRICARE (1-800-874-2273), option 1. The nurse will advise you about speaking to or visiting your provider, if needed. Learn more about how the MHS Nurse Advice Line can help you.

Newborn and well-child care is still as important as ever. Immunizations for infants and small children operate on a schedule recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Talk to your doctor. It’s important to keep up with your child’s immunizations to minimize the risk of serious preventable illnesses, such as measles and whooping cough.

If you scheduled routine care at a military hospital or clinic between March 31 and May 30, you may find it’s been delayed. You may consider delaying other routine care until the pandemic lessens. Talk to your doctor first. Examples of routine care to postpone might include a preventive annual mole check or annual cholesterol screening.

Stay safe, and take command of your health by seeking the care you need.

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Last Updated 6/23/2020