New urgent care program for TRICARE Prime retirees

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To increase access to care, the Department of Defense is launching an Urgent Care Pilot Program for TRICARE Prime beneficiaries. This program allows Prime enrollees two visits to a network or TRICARE authorized provider without a referral or prior authorization.

The Urgent Care Pilot Program, scheduled to begin May 23, is for retirees and their family members who are enrolled in Prime within the 50 United States or the District of Columbia.

TRICARE Overseas Program enrollees can receive an unlimited number of urgent care visits, but only when they are traveling stateside and seeking care. 

There are no point-of-service deductibles or cost shares for these two urgent care visits, but network copayments still apply.

Once people receive urgent care, they must notify their primary care manager about that care within 24 hours or the first business day after the urgent care visit. Authorization requirements have not changed for follow-up care, specialty care or inpatient care.

People who are not sure of the type of care they need, or require care outside of standard business hours, can call the Nurse Advice Line at 800-874-2273, Option 1. If the nurse recommends an urgent care visit, and a referral is submitted, that visit will not count against the two pre-authorized visits allowed under the Urgent Care Pilot; however, if a person calls the advice line and gets a referral to a military hospital or clinic, but decides to go elsewhere for care, that visit will count against his or her two preauthorized visits.

For more information, visit the Urgent Care Pilot Program web page on the TRICARE website.  (Courtesy of TRICARE)