What to do if you get sick or hurt while traveling

What to do if you get sick or hurt while traveling

by Kristi Adams
Stripes Okinawa

No matter how much pre-trip planning we do, sometimes the inevitable happens. It might be an unexpected illness that requires medical attention or an accident requiring emergency care.

For active duty military members and their families, your TRICARE health coverage travels with you, but there are established guidelines on what to do if you need to use it outside of your assigned coverage area.

For routine care when traveling

• You should get all your routine care before traveling, as it isn’t usually authorized outside of your region.

• But, if you do need routine care:

- You must contact your primary care manager (PCM) first.

- Call International SOS at 1-877-451-8659 before getting care or making payments.

If you’re traveling in an overseas area (away from your duty location’s treatment region)

1. If you have an emergency go to the nearest emergency care facility, or call the 911-equivalent (Europe is 112 – but see https://travel.state.gov/content/dam/students-abroad/pdfs/911_ABROAD.pdf for a complete list from the State Department.)

• Before you leave, contact International SOS Medical Assistance.

- Eurasia-Africa: +44-20-8762-8133

- Latin America & Canada: 1-215-942-8320

- Pacific (Sydney): +65-6338-9277

- Pacific (Singapore): +61-2-9273-2760

• If admitted, International SOS will:

- Coordinate with the facility for payment

- Determine whether you should be transferred to another facility

- Coordinate emergency transport, if needed.

2. If you need urgent care:

• Try to get all non-emergency care from a military hospital or clinic, when possible.

• If not, prior authorization from International SOS is required.

Traveling in the United States

1. You have priority access to military hospitals and clinics.

• So try to receive care at a military facility first, if possible

• Find a military hospital or clinic

2. If you have an emergency:

• Call 911

• If admitted to an emergency room, call your regional call center.

3. If you need urgent care:

• Try to get care at a military hospital or clinic.

• Or, though the Urgent Care Pilot Program, you can visit a TRICARE-authorized provider (An 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.) without a referral or authorization.

Need prescriptions when traveling?

You should get your prescriptions filled before you travel. But, if you need a prescription filled while traveling you can:

• Go to a military pharmacy if one is nearby. You should call them first to see if they stock your prescription.

• Find the closest network pharmacy, which are available in the U.S. and U.S. Territories.

- If a network pharmacy isn’t available, you can visit a non-network pharmacy.

• Use home delivery if you’re taking a long vacation. You can arrange for any regular prescriptions to be filled via home delivery.

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