printerprint friendly view (pdf)    Bookmark and Share    text size decrease increase

Health Care

Moving with TRICARE

When you move, TRICARE moves with you. It's there before, during and when you get to your next duty station. It's available worldwide. There are steps you need to take to make sure changes to your TRICARE coverage go smoothly. With your move, you may have to use a different TRICARE option.

Visit Moving to learn more.

Getting care along the way

Before you move, you should take care of any routine medical needs, including immunizations, and fill your prescriptions so you have enough while traveling. If you need to get care during your move, visit Getting Care When Traveling to learn what to do.

Filling prescriptions while traveling

You should get all prescriptions refilled before traveling. But if you run out of a prescription drug while traveling, visit Filling Prescriptions When Traveling.

Getting dental care while traveling

Getting dental care while traveling depends on your location and whether you are a service member or family member.

  • If you are an active-duty service member within the United States or in U.S. territories, and near a military installation, you may be able to get emergency dental care at the dental treatment facility, or DTF, if available. If not, contact the active duty dental care program before you see a dentist and tell the contractor about your move. You will need to get an authorization before you see a dentist. The Active Duty Dental Care Program will work with you, so you can get care from a local network dentist.
  • If you are an active-duty service member at an overseas location, you can call the overseas regional call center to get authorization before you see a civilian dentist.
  • If you are an active-duty family member within the United States, in U.S. territories or at an overseas location, you can find out if any nearby military dental treatment facility treats active-duty family members. If you're enrolled in the TRICARE dental program, call the TRICARE dental program contractor or visit their website to find a provider. You will need to get an authorization before you see the dentist.

Permanent change of station for active-duty service members

With permanent change of station orders, ask for a copy of your medical and dental records from your military treatment facility, or MTF, records section and the dental treatment facility, or DTF. Do this at least one month before your permanent change of station date. The MTF should also transfer a copy of your record and any family records to your new duty station or you may be able to hand carry them to your new duty station.

If you want someone else to be able to get medical or dental information on you or your family while you are moving, you need to complete a DD Form 2870, "Authorization for Disclosure of Medical or Dental Information."

For more information on getting copies of medical records, visit Request Copies of Medical Records.

Installation Specific Information

Installation Hospital

Naval Medical Center San Diego (NMCSD) is located at 34800 Bob Wilson Drive, San Diego, CA. NMCSD is the largest military medical facility in the world, providing medical and pharmacy services to active duty, retirees, and Page 2 dependents. Emergency Room (ER) services are available at NMCSD 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

NMCSD is a major teaching center and operates a network of clinics located at area military installations. Through these clinics, emergency and ambulatory care is provided to the active duty populations of all San Diego ship and shore commands. In addition, TRICARE outpatient clinics are located throughout the community for military families. San Diego is a large area comprised of many smaller communities. Various hospitals are spread throughout the city; your nearest ER would depend upon your location.

While many TRICARE beneficiaries pay no out-of pocket costs for emergency room services, the average cost for an emergency room visit is 10 times more than an urgent care visit. In many cases, using the emergency room is not necessary, and a patient's condition can be treated through urgent care. TRICARE's explanation of urgent care and emergency care can help you seek the most appropriate service.

TRICARE defines an emergency as a medical, maternity or psychiatric condition that would lead a "prudent layperson" (someone with average knowledge of health and medicine) to believe that a serious medical condition exists; that the absence of immediate medical attention would result in a threat to life, limb or sight; when a person has severe, painful symptoms requiring immediate attention to relieve suffering; or when a person is at immediate risk to self or others.

Examples of emergencies include:


  • No pulse
  • Severe bleeding
  • Spinal cord or back injury
  • Chest pain
  • Severe eye injury
  • Broken bone
  • Inability to breathe


You do not need to call your primary care manager (PCM) or United HealthCare before receiving emergency medical care. However, in all emergency situations, you must notify your PCM (or United HealthCare if you do not have an assigned PCM) within 24 hours of or on the business day following admission to coordinate ongoing care and to ensure you receive proper authorization.

TRICARE defines urgent care as medically necessary treatment for an illness or injury that would not result in further disability or death if not treated immediately but that requires professional attention within 24 hours.

Examples of urgent care situations include:


  • Minor cuts
  • Migraine headache
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Sprain
  • Earache
  • Rising fever


In most cases, you can receive urgent care from your primary care manager (PCM) by making a same-day appointment. However, if your PCM is unable to provide this care in a timely manner, you may be referred to a network urgent care provider. It is important that you obtain a referral from your PCM before you receive urgent care from anyone other than your PCM. If you do not coordinate urgent care with your PCM or TRIWEST, the care will be covered under the point-of-service option at greater out-of-pocket cost to you. If you are away from home and cannot wait until you see your PCM for treatment, you must contact your PCM for a referral or call TRIWEST for assistance before receiving services.

Branch Medical Clinics

The military member has first priority in obtaining care from the military medical facilities, followed by the family members of active duty personnel, with retired military and family members of retired military following in the eligibility chain. Due to the fact that there are many military families in this area, there are seven TRICARE Clinics established for your use. These clinics are operated by Navy and civilian staff. Hours vary. For more information and hours, call 1-877-988-9378.

CNRSW Fleet & Family Support Center

If you feel you need counseling, the NRSW Fleet & Family Support Center (FFSC) offers short-term, confidential counseling. To make a clinical counseling appointment at any NRSW FFSC San Diego location, call CNRSW Centralized Scheduling at 866-923-6478.

Dental Care

Installation dental clinics provide comprehensive dental care services for active duty military only. Dental insurance is available for all DEERS enrollees through the TRICARE Dental Program. A monthly premium applies. For more information on eligibility and services, call 855-638-8371 or visit the TRICARE Dental website.

Associated Links

DS Logon (formerly DEERS)
TRICARE beneficiaries can electronically link to their medical records, pay and human resource systems and other websites.

Find out everything you need to know about your medical benefits.

Beneficiary Counseling Assistance Coordinator
A BCAC educates beneficiaries, and enhances a thorough understanding of TRICARE programs.

TRICARE Mobile App for Pharmacy Assistance
Check prescriptions status; order home delivery; find a pharmacy and more all from your phone. You must be registered before downloading the mobile app.

Need personal assistance?

Call your relocation manager »

Or, for 24/7 assistance, call Military OneSource. », No question is too big or too small 800-342-9647

Military OneSource Newsletter Subscriptions button

Plan My Move, Take control of your PCS move

Do you have orders?

Request a Sponsor »

Additional Resources

  • Expand Housing TreeHousing
  • Expand Household Goods TreeHousehold Goods
  • Expand Local Community TreeLocal Community
  • Expand Financial Planning TreeFinancial Planning
  • Expand Employment TreeEmployment
  • Expand Child Care TreeChild Care
  • Expand Education TreeEducation
  • Expand MWR TreeMWR
  • Expand Special Circumstances TreeSpecial Circumstances

Military Crisis Line

Safe Helpline