Emergency prescriptions, referral waivers issued by TRICARE for hurricane zone

Jonathan Kaupanger
October 09, 2018 - 4:59 pm

Photo by Tyler Olson | Dreamstime.com

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TRICARE has emergency procedures in place for veterans in the event of a natural disaster, like hurricanes.  This affects your prescription medication, and if evacuated, the need for a referral from your primary care manager when seeking medical care.

Because of Hurricane Michael, veterans in Florida, Alabama and Georgia may receive an emergency refill on prescriptions.  This is in effect until October 18.  Take your prescription bottle to any TRICARE retail network pharmacy for the refill.  You can find a network pharmacy by calling Express Scripts at (877) 363-1303 or search the network pharmacy locator online.

If possible, you should go to the pharmacy where the prescription was originally filled.  If you used a retail chain, you can fill the prescription at another store in that chain.  Another option is to have your health care provider call in a new prescription to any network pharmacy. 

If you’re evacuated, TRICARE is waiving the need for referrals to see TRICARE authorized providers.  Only specific counties in three states are authorized to use this blanket referral waiver, which is in effect through October 18.  Use TRICARE’s Find a Doctor to locate authorized providers in your evacuated area.  Here are the affected areas so far:

  • Florida: Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, Holmes, Washington, Bay, Jackson, Calhoun, Gulf, Gadsden, Liberty, Franklin, Leon, Wakulla, Jefferson, Madison, Taylor, Hamilton, Suwannee, Lafayette, Dixie, Columbia, Gilchrist, Levy, Citrus, Baker, Union, Bradford, Alachua, Hernando, Pasco, Pinellas, Hillsborough, and Manatee Counties.
  • Alabama: All.
  • Georgia: Appling, Atkinson, Bacon, Baker, Baldwin, Ben Hill, Berrien, Bibb, Bleckley, Brantley, Brooks, Bryan, Bulloch, Burke, Calhoun, Camden, Candler, Charlton, Chatham, Chattahoochee, Clay, Clinch, Coffee, Colquitt, Cook, Crawford, Crisp, Decatur, Dodge, Dooly, Dougherty, Early, Echols, Effingham, Emanuel, Evans, Glascock, Glynn, Grady, Hancock, Houston, Irwin, Jeff Davis, Jefferson, Jenkins, Johnson, Jones, Lanier, Laurens, Lee, Liberty, Long, Lowndes, Macon, Marion, Mcintosh, Miller, Mitchell, Montgomery, Muscogee, Peach, Pierce, Pulaski, Quitman, Randolph, Richmond, Schley, Screven, Seminole, Stewart, Sumter, Talbot, Tattnall, Taylor, Telfair, Terrell, Thomas, Tift, Toombs, Treutlen, Turner, Twiggs, Upson, Ware, Warren, Washington, Wayne, Webster, Wheeler, Wilcox, Wilkinson, and Worth

If you’re activated to respond to any of the affected hurricane areas and are on active duty for more than 30 days in a row, you may receive the same TRICARE benefits as active duty service members.  Your family is covered as well.  If you have other health insurance, you can continue to use that as your primary insurance or use TRICARE.  Information on how to coordinate other health insurance with TRICARE is here. 

Finally, sign up for TRICARE disaster alerts.  You’ll be first to know if there are changes to the affected areas or updates to how long these emergency benefits remain in place.

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