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TRICARE announces temporary suspension of physician referrals for beneficiaries affected by Hurricane Florence

FALLS CHURCH, Va. (AFNS) -- The Defense Health Agency announced TRICARE beneficiaries under mandatory evacuation orders in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia may see a provider in any location without a referral from their primary care provider due to the impact of Hurricane Florence.

The waiver applies to beneficiaries in approximately 40 counties where state governors have ordered evacuations as Florence approaches. Under the waiver, beneficiaries who have or may need to evacuate are not required to get a referral from their primary care provider to receive care in the community where they’ve evacuated. The waiver applies until Sept. 21.

As a reminder, all TRICARE beneficiaries not on active duty can receive urgent care from any TRICARE-authorized urgent care center or provider without a referral.

TRICARE is the military’s health benefit, covering about 9.4 million active duty and Reserve component service members, military retirees and their families. TRICARE has approximately 504,000 beneficiaries in North Carolina, 246,000 in South Carolina and 745,000 in Virginia.

In addition, TRICARE beneficiaries may obtain emergency refills of their prescriptions through Sept. 20. To receive emergency refills, beneficiaries should take their prescription bottle to any TRICARE retail network pharmacy. The emergency refill policy applies to beneficiaries across all of North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C., where states of emergency have been declared in advance of Hurricane Florence.

To find a network pharmacy:

If possible, visit the pharmacy where the prescription was filled. For a retail chain, one can fill the prescription at another store in that chain. If provider is available, he or she may call in a new prescription to any network pharmacy.

Beneficiaries are advised to visit www.tricare.mil/disaster for updates.