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Urgent Care

Covered by TRICARE?Limits
Yes Your rules for getting urgent care depend on your plan

Urgent care is care you need for a non-emergency illness or injury. You need urgent care treatment within 24 hours, and you shouldn't have to travel more than 30 minutes for the care. You typically need urgent care to treat a condition that: 

  • Doesn’t threaten life, limb or eyesight.
  • Needs attention before it becomes a serious risk to health.

Examples may include things like a high fever or sprained ankle.

Nurse Advice Line

If it's after hours or you're not sure if you need to see a doctor, call TRICARE's Nurse Advice Line 24/7. Call 1-800-TRICARE (874-2273)—Option 1 to talk to a registered nurse who can:

  • Nurse Advice Line Web Ad ImageAnswer your urgent care questions
  • Give you health care advice
  • Help you find a doctor
  • Schedule next-day appointments at military hospitals and clinics

The Nurse Advice Line is available to all TRICARE beneficiaries in the U.S. except those enrolled in the US Family Health Plan. Beneficiaries who live overseas can call the Nurse Advice Line for health care advice when traveling in the U.S., but must coordinate care with their Overseas Regional Call Center.

You’ll make a "same day" appointment with your primary care doctor, family doctor or urgent care clinic for urgent care services.

TRICARE Prime and Select Plans

Unless you are an active duty service member, you do not need a referral for urgent care. If you are an active duty service member, you must contact your primary care manager for a referral before using urgent care in the network.  If you live overseas, you should contact the overseas contractor for a prior authorization to use urgent care. If you don't contact the contractor for authorization, you may have to pay the provider and file a claim for reimbursement. >>Learn More

US Family Health Plan

Visit your designated provider's web site for details. >>Learn More

All Other Plans

Visit 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., network or non-network. >>Find a Doctor


This list of covered services is not all inclusive. TRICARE covers services that are medically necessaryTo be medically necessary means it is appropriate, reasonable, and adequate for your condition. and considered proven. There are special rules or limits on certain services, and some services are excluded.

Last Updated 1/4/2018

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