We all know to wash our hands, avoid social gatherings and not to touch our face. But what do we do if we get sick or think we were exposed ?

Many of us, myself included, have questions in regards to Tricare & COVID-19 and how this affects our healthcare. So I decided to do some research and found very helpful information on https://www.tricare.mil/

Can I just go to a testing site/ ER/ or doctor to get tested?

No. While this is a scary time, and you may want to run to the nearest testing center…You must first call the nurses line OR your provider and they will tell you what steps to take next.

Tricare.mil states that :

You should not just show up at a hospital and request testing. Testing is authorized based on the clinical judgment of a provider, exposure, travel history and symptoms. You must have an in-person or virtual telephone/video visit with a provider who will arrange testing in a military treatment facility (if MTF-enrolled) or in the private sector (if enrolled to the network provider with TRICARE Prime or if you’re using TRICARE Select or TRICARE For Life).  If network, the cost of the test is covered in the cost of the visit itself.

What if I have scheduled non urgent appointments or procedures? 

Non-Urgent Appointments may be cancelled and made virtual…

“MTFs are currently reviewing all scheduled, non-urgent face-to-face appointments, cancelling those appointments and converting them to virtual telephone visits.  Our MTF staff are taking these measures to limit unnecessary exposure for you, other patients and our own medical staff.  If you receive notice that your appointment has been cancelled, please remember that your clinic should be trying to reach you.  Please ensure you are able to answer any of the telephone numbers we have on file.  If you are not contacted within a day of your previously scheduled appointment, please contact your clinic or send your team a secure message. “- Tricare.mil

What should You do if you think you have been exposed or have symptoms of COVID-19?

It is advised not to walk into any ER, hospital or clinic (whether civilian or military) but to first  speak with a registered nurse or clinician who can asses your situation and give you guidance on what to do.

Tricare.mil states:

  • Call the Military Health System Nurse Advice Line (MHS NAL) at 1-800-874-2273, Option 1 or online at https://mhsnurseadviceline.com/
  • Call your military or civilian primary care clinic directly
  • Send your primary care physician a secure online message, if you can do so

If you’re enrolled to a military hospital or clinic, you may also:

  • Call the appointment line; the appointment line staff can submit a telephone consult to your primary care clinic nurse if you ask for one
  • Send your primary care team a secure message in the TRICARE OnLine or MHS GENESIS Patient Portal “-  

However, If you happen to be experiencing any of these symptoms:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Constant pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion or inability to arouse
  • Bluish lips or face

Seek Medical Care Immediately, but let them know you have COVID-19 (symptoms) so they can protect themselves and others from transmission.

Tricare.mil also states that

“If you are not sick enough to be hospitalized, you can recover at home. Follow the Center for Disease Control (CDC) instructions on how to take care of yourself at home. (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/steps-when-sick.html ).”

For any other questions feel free to check out: https://tricare.mil/HealthWellness/HealthyLiving/Coronavirus/Coronavirus-FAQs

Stay Safe & Healthy Friends!