Five TRICARE tips to tame travel trouble

  • Published
  • By Brian P. Smith
  • TriWest Healthcare Alliance
Whether you're leaving on vacation or changing duty stations, TRICARE is here to keep you medically covered. Take a few steps now to help make sure your coverage remains constant during your travels.

Keep DEERS Updated

No matter which TRICARE program you use, your Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) record is the key to keeping your eligibility. If your address changes for more than 30 days, update DEERS. Go to or update your information online using the Beneficiary Web Enrollment (BWE) application (

When changing addresses, don't disenroll from TRICARE Prime. You can transfer your enrollment and choose a new primary care manager (PCM). You can use BWE or fill out the TRICARE Prime Enrollment Application & PCM Change Form ("Find a Form" at

Get Routine Care at Home
Before you hit the road, take care of your family's routine health care at home:
· annual exams
· required immunizations or other preventive care.

This doesn't just help you focus on your journey, but can help you avoid claims issues and out-of-pocket expenses.

Know Your Urgent and Emergency Care Options
But what about those unexpected issues? Emergency care is covered for conditions that could result in a loss of life, limb or sight. Urgent care covers those issues that require medical attention in 24 hours, such as a rising fever, sprain or sore throat.

To avoid extra out-of-pocket costs, TRICARE Prime enrollees should contact:
· your PCM before receiving urgent care
· your PCM within 24 hours of receiving emergency care
· TriWest at 1-888-TRIWEST (874-9378) if you are admitted to a hospital
· TriWest if you do not have a PCM.

TRICARE Pharmacy Delivers
When you get your medications through the TRICARE mail order pharmacy, remember to get your refills before you leave.

Need medications away from home? TRICARE pharmacy can deliver to a temporary address. To register for home delivery and to manage your prescriptions online, visit or call 1-877-363-1303.

Locate a Provider
In the West Region, you can find network medical providers (with maps and driving directions) at Outside of the 21-state West Region, go to

Long trips and short ones, roundtrip or one-way, TRICARE has you covered during your travels. For questions before, during or after a vacation or a move, find the answers at