For military personnel, retirees and military family members in the path of Hurricane Dorian, Tricare has loosened requirements for refilling medical prescriptions, enacting emergency refill policies for all 67 counties in Florida and 12 counties in Georgia.
The Defense Health Agency (DHA) is encouraging Tricare beneficiaries affected by the storm to fill their prescriptions now, before Dorian makes landfall. But should they require an emergency refill and be unable to get to their home pharmacy, they can obtain them elsewhere until Sept. 6.
For Tricare Prime patients, this means they can get prescription refills from a Tricare network pharmacy without a referral from their primary care manager.
All beneficiaries should take their original prescription bottles to a network pharmacy to obtain their refills, according to Tricare.
In the latest update from the DHA, all counties in Florida are affected by the emergency refill provisions.
In Georgia, the affected counties are Brantley, Bryan, Camden, Charlton, Chatham, Effingham, Glynn, Liberty, Long, McIntosh, Pierce and Wayne.
DHA officials also want to remind Tricare beneficiaries that they do not need a referral for health services at an urgent care facility if they have an acute illness or injury and can't see their primary care provider due to a weather-related service interruption or evacuation.
They are encouraged to seek nonemergency care at a Tricare-authorized urgent care center.
Tricare has also temporarily suspended the physician referral requirement for Tricare Prime and Prime Remote beneficiaries in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. Those who evacuate from the islands will not need a referral from their primary care provider to see a doctor in their location. The suspension remains in effect through Sept. 30.
Beneficiaries can find a network pharmacy by calling Express Scripts at 1-877-363-1303 or by searching Express Scripts' network pharmacy locator site.
Tricare's Nurse Advice Line, 1-800-874-2273, option 1, can help beneficiaries find a Tricare-authorized urgent care provider. The Nurse Advice Line also can be reached through its web site
The Defense Health Agency encourages beneficiaries to visit the Tricare website for the most up-to-date notices on emergency procedures related to the storm.