Procedures for making appointments with TRICARE depend on the particular health care plan, but prime plan subscribers can contact a primary care manager by phone, according to TRICARE. If the primary care manager is located at a military hospital or clinic, prime plan users need to first register online.
Primary care managers must provide referrals for patients to see medical specialists, explains TRICARE. Patients make appointments without referrals using the point-of-service option, and can visit a TRICARE-authorized medical specialist to make an appointment directly with the clinic. This service is not available for active-duty service members, children who have not yet been enrolled in the plan, or beneficiaries who have other insurance plans. Additional fees apply with the point-of-service appointment option.
Standard plans allow patients to book appointments directly with any TRICARE-authorized provider, notes TRICARE. Subscribers with this plan have access to care at military clinics on a walk-in basis. Patients who have a US Family Health Plan through TRICARE only make appointments through the designated provider on the plan. This plan does not include a walk-in treatment option at military clinics.
TRICARE suggests calling the Nurse Advice Line by phone to speak directly with a registered nurse before making an appointment. Nurses give medical advice and suggest providers to contact for further care.