Tricare users have options for host nation referrals

HEIDELBERG, Germany — Tricare users now have two options for receiving authorizations and medical documentation if they need to be seen by a host nation health care provider.

International SOS, the Tricare service provider for Europe, sends referral authorizations to the health facility and the designated host nation provider within three business days of request and before the patient’s appointment.

Those who prefer to pick up their authorizations from their local Tricare service center should wait at least three business days after the referral is made, said Michelle Jones, European Regional Medical Command’s Tricare contract liaison officer. “Although beneficiaries are not required to hand-carry referral authorizations to their host nation provider, they are encouraged to do so,” Jones said. “They will still need to hand-carry their medical documentation.”

Tricare service centers should offer beneficiaries two options for receiving authorizations and medical documentation:
• Beneficiaries may receive their authorization and medical documentation via email from the center, or
• Beneficiaries may stop by the center to pick up their authorization and medical documentation.

Beneficiaries still have three choices for making appointments:
• Beneficiaries may book their own appointment.
• Beneficiaries may call the Tricare Overseas Program regional call center to request assistance in booking their appointment.
• Army health facility Tricare service centers may book appointments for beneficiaries.
Beneficiaries who have questions about the referral and/or emailing process should contact their local health facility Tricare service center.

Tricare access to care standards require that appointments for Tricare Prime beneficiaries be made according to these guidelines:
Acute care: 24 hours
Routine care: 7 days
Wellness: 28 days
Specialty: 28 days

There are special procedures that beneficiaries need to be aware of when traveling back to the U.S. “The Tricare Overseas Program web site explains the process of TOP enrolled beneficiaries seeking care stateside,” Jones said. “As a reminder, emergent care never requires an authorization, but all urgent care requires an authorization. If you are stateside and require urgent care, please contact International SOS or your local service center for assistance.” Stateside routine care authorizations are rare and only authorized with prior justification from the patient’s primary care manager and with health care coordination, Jones added. The Tricare Overseas Program web site also offers information for all Tricare beneficiaries, such as contact numbers for claims and customer service. The Tricare Overseas Beneficiary Handbook and other literature may also be
downloaded from the site, Jones said.

At host nation provider appointments, Tricare Overseas Prime beneficiaries should present their Tricare Prime Overseas Program enrollment card. Enrollment card examples can be viewed at In addition to referral authorizations that will be sent directly to the host nation provider by International SOS, the enrollment card validates that the bearer is the Tricare Prime beneficiary for whom the referral authorization was written. Each family member enrolled in Tricare Overseas Prime should have a card. Beneficiaries who did not receive a card or need a replacement card should contact the Tricare Overseas Program regional call center and press Option 4.  In Germany, call the toll-free number 0800-589-1599. “Army health facility Tricare service centers will continue to provide host nation patient liaison services, health care finders, beneficiary counseling and assistance, and debt collection assistance,” Jones said.
All beneficiaries should visit for plan and benefit information. Beneficiaries can access country-specific toll-free contact numbers and a useful “Find-A-Provider” search tool at the Tricare Overseas Program website at Forms and links to other Tricare overseas programs are also available at that site.
(Courtesy of Tricare)