Active Duty Service Members

Your status as an active duty service member means you’re covered by TRICARE Prime for claims purposes, but your rules for getting care are slightly different. 

Direct CareIt's care you get at military hospitals and clinics. To learn more visit the Military Hospitals and Clinics page. Some individuals may get direct care only when space is available./Primary Care Manager

Direct Care is care you get at military hospitals and clinics. When you’re stationed at a military installation that has a clinic/hospital or troupe clinic, you’re assigned to a Primary Care Manager (PCM), where you are required to get all your medical care. If you’re assigned to a ship, you will get care from the medical team on board. Any care that your PCM can’t provide (other than emergency care) requires a referral; this includes urgent care.

As an Active Duty service member:

Urgent Care

You should seek urgent care at your assigned military hospital or clinic. If you’re away from home or your duty station, contact the MHS Nurse Advice Line or your regional contractor for help obtaining urgent care. You must:

  • still have a referral from your PCM.
  • call your PCM the next duty day to inform them of care you received

Emergency Care

In an emergency, you may seek care at a network provider.

  • Call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.
  • You may need to pay up front and file a claim for reimbursement.
  • Keep all receipts and file claims in the region where you live, not where you get the care.
  • Call your PCM or military hospital or clinic within 24 hours or the next business day.

Your Primary Care Manager

TRICARE Prime Remote 
  • May or may not have an assigned PCM depending on the network providers in your remote location.
  • If you don't have an assigned PCM, you can use any TRICARE-authorized providerAn authorized provider is any individual, institution/organization, or supplier that is licensed by a state, accredited by national organization, or meets other standards of the medical community, and is certified to provide benefits under TRICARE. There are two types of TRICARE-authorized providers: Network and Non-Network. DS as your PCM.
TRICARE Prime Overseas
  • You'll have an assigned PCM at a military hospital or clinic.
  • You'll get most care from your assigned PCM.
  • Call International SOS if you need an appointment with an overseas provider.
TRICARE Prime Remote Overseas 
  • Contact your Regional Call Center to schedule all appointments.
  • In Canada, you'll get most care from your PCM at a Canadian Forces Health Facility. For help finding a provider, contact the Canadian Forces Medical Group at 1-613-945-6653.
Looking to book an appointment online at a military hospital or clinic? Visit the Secure Patient Portal for more information.

Last Updated 8/2/2023