What to do if you're a TRICARE beneficiary
It's still important to follow CDC guidelines to help stop the spread of COVID-19. The more steps you and your family can take to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the safer you'll be.
It’s also important to identify the symptoms of COVID-19 and know when to seek help. COVID-19 affects people in different ways. Infected people have reported a wide range of symptoms–from mild symptoms to severe illness.
If your assessment instructs you to seek emergency care:
- Dial 911. Tell the 911 dispatcher that you may have COVID-19.
- Go to the emergency roomThe hospital department that provides emergency services to patients who need immediate medical attention.. If you can, call ahead to tell them you may have COVID-19.
Your assessment may also show you have symptoms associated with COVID-19. If you’re concerned about these symptoms or any non-COVID-19 symptoms, or if you have other health questions, you can:
- Call the MHS Nurse Advice Line at 1-800-TRICARE (874-2273), option 1.
- Contact your primary care manager or your regional contractor. You can use secure messaging, if available. Call your military hospital or clinic hotline for advice.
- Call your military hospital or clinic appointment line and ask to speak with your team nurse.
- Schedule a virtual appointment with your primary care manager using your patient portal. Many civilian providers offer virtual telehealth appointments, too.
To get care or testing for COVID-19, please follow the rules of your TRICARE health plan. Call your regional provider or your military hospital or clinic for more information. You can also order free at-home tests.
The CDC recommends the 2023-2024 updated COVID-19 vaccines to protect against serious illness from COVID-19.
- Everyone ages 5 years and older should get one dose of an updated COVID-19 vaccine.
- Children aged 6 months to 4 years need multiple doses to be up-to-date, including at least on does of an updated COVID-19 vaccine.
- People who are moderately or severely immunocompromised may get additional doses.
Vaccination remains the best protection against COVID-19-related hospitalization and death. Vaccination also reduces your chance of suffering the effects of Long COVID, which can develop during or following acute infection and last for an extended duration. If you have not received a COVID-19 vaccine in the past two months, get an updated COVID-19 vaccine to protect yourself this fall and winter.
To date, hundreds of millions of people have safely received a COVID-19 vaccine under the most intense safety monitoring in U.S. history.
Check with your military hospital or clinic or health care provider for availability and how to schedule an appointment to get the vaccine. For more information about COVID-19 vaccines, please visit the CDC website.
If you have concerns about the COVID-19 vaccine, you may contact the DHA Immunization Healthcare Support Center at 1-877-GET-VACC (1-877-438-8222) option 1 or Defense Switched Network (DSN) 761-4245, option 1, if you have questions about the vaccines or about an adverse event following vaccination.
The COVID-19 vaccine is covered like other vaccines.
Where can I get a vaccine?
The availability of a COVID-19 vaccine may vary by location. Eligible TRICARE beneficiaries can make a COVID-19 vaccination appointment at a military hospital, clinic, or vaccination site. This includes US Family Health Plan (USFHP) enrollees.
You can also get a COVID-19 vaccine at:
- Local or state health department COVID-19 vaccination sites.
- Your civilian provider.
- Pharmacies participating in the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program, participating pharmacies, and vaccination sites, which can include local convenience store chains and grocery stores.
Last Updated 1/3/2024