Beneficiaries of Tricare can receive care at any urgent care center or convenience clinic authorized by the program. TRICARE Prime members will not have to pay deductibles or shared costs if the urgent care center is authorized by Tricare and is in or out of the network. Active duty personnel are not allowed to visit the urgent care clinic without a referral. Those living abroad can call the nurse advice line for medical care advice when they travel to the United States.
The changes made to Tricare will improve the delivery, quality, and cost of health care services for service members, retirees, and their families. Urgent care is medical care needed for a non-emergency illness or injury that requires treatment within 24 hours. Allowing the Emergency Department to focus on patients with medical emergencies and avoiding visits that are more appropriate for a visit to an urgent care center (UCC) improves waiting times for Madigan emergency patients and allows the emergency service to function with all its emergency care and trauma response capabilities. Active-duty family members enrolled in Madigan, retirees, and retired family members are authorized to visit a network UCC authorized by Tricare to receive walk-in care or a referral from their primary care physician (PCM). To ensure that your urgent care visit is without cash or claims, you must obtain prior authorization from the TRICARE foreign contractor.
In any of these cases, make sure that your other health insurance (OHI) information with TRICARE is up to date so that your requests for health care are processed accurately. So how many times can you go to urgent care with Tricare? The answer depends on your individual plan. Generally speaking, you can go as many times as you need as long as you have prior authorization from your PCM or foreign contractor. However, it's important to remember that urgent care centers are not meant for long-term treatment of chronic conditions. If you need ongoing medical attention, it's best to consult with your PCM.