During the COVID-19 Pandemic taking care of your health can be confusing especially when it comes to navigating TRICARE and the Military Health System. Even a cough generates the question do I have the “Corona”? Other questions can be admin related such as my ID card has expired. Rumors are rampant so here is where you can find accurate and updated information.
Did you know TRICARE is on Facebook? This is a great source of information. The latest TRICARE on Facebook post gives information about using the emergency room at a military hospital during the pandemic and the steps taken to insure your safety. Another place to find detailed information is the official Tricare Corona Virus page on their website. Great accurate up to date information and frequently asked questions. It also has a section of symptoms and signs of Corona Virus. It gave a better explanation for me than I had seen anywhere else.
One of the big questions is what do I do if my ID Card expires? Service Members can renew online. For family members and military retirees if your Uniformed Services ID (ID card) expired on or after Jan. 1, 2020 you can continue to use your card until Sept. 30, 2020 to receive care and fill prescriptions. If you have a new family member for TRICARE, make sure all their information is updated into the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS). You will then be able to mail, fax or email your paperwork to your nearest ID card issuing facility. For more information visit ID Card Online Office.
I recently had a routine medical appointment over the phone. It worked well for just basic questions and updates on my existing condition. What is you have new illness or symptoms of COVID-19? Contact the Military Health System (MHS) Nurse Advice Line. A Military Health System registered nurse can answer your questions as well as assess your symptoms over the phone. They can screen you as well for COVID-19. They can coordinate follow up medical visits with a health care provider either virtually or in person depending on the medical condition. Important: When you receive a call, it will show up as blocked or unknown. Make sure to answer during your appointment time.
COVID – 19 Myths vs. Facts
The TRICARE website also has a section of Myths vs Facts and I found it highly informative. It has detailed information on why and how to wear a mask and dispels the myth that homemade cloth masks aren’t effective. They are and the site has suggestions on how to wear, material etc.
One way you can help is to share Coronavirus infographics such as the one on this page on your social media. The TRICARE Facebook page has a bunch to choose from. If you do share information on social media make sure it is from reliable, vetted sources.
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Marguerite Cleveland is a freelance writer who specializes in human interest and travel stories. She is a military brat, a veteran and now a military spouse. Her military experience is vast as the daughter of a Navy man who served as an enlisted sailor and then Naval Officer. She served as an enlisted soldier in the reserves and on active duty, then as an Army Officer. She currently serves as a military spouse. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and two sons. Visit her website www.PeggyWhereShouldIGo.com