Plan for health care before travel

Traveling for the holidays? Make sure to be aware of some things before you go.

As many of us begin making travel plans this holiday season, it is important to know what to do in case you or your family members need medical care away from home.

Active duty military and their family members enrolled in TRICARE Prime will need to request authorization from International SOS (ISOS) when seeking care outside of a military treatment facility for urgent medical needs. Urgent medical concerns are those that cannot wait for your primary care provider, such as allergic reactions, cold or flu symptoms not managed with self-care, persistent diarrhea, sprains, and strains.      

In addition to providing the authorization for care, ISOS can provide healthcare finder assistance as well. In some cases they may be able to coordinate cashless, claimless billing, which means no up-front out of pocket costs and the medical facility will file the claim for the patient. When possible, it is best to utilize a TRICARE network provider or facility.

Emergency care, for the potential loss of life, limb, or eyesight, works a little differently. When seeking medical attention for any of these situations, patients should seek care first and call ISOS once they are stable, typically no later than 3 business days from the date of emergency.

After you have called ISOS, please make sure to write down the care authorization number in a safe place. This number will be associated with your TRICARE claim for reimbursement.

When paying out of pocket for care, make sure to keep copies of all medical records, discharge paperwork, and receipts.  Once home, please feel free to visit your nearest TRICARE office for assistance with submitting claims for reimbursement and documents for translation.

Routine care should wait until you return home and can see your primary care manager. Patients not enrolled in TRICARE, such as federal civilian employees, should check with their health insurance company for guidance.

Important Phone Numbers:

International SOS MEDICAL ASSISTANCE 24/7 

Toll-Free from Germany 0800-589-1599

From the United States 1-877-678-1207

Nurse Advice Line

Toll-free from Germany 0800-825-1600 or call the Appointment Line 06371-9464-5762 (LRMC) and choose the Nurse Advice Line option

From the United States 1-800-TRICARE

For phone numbers from other countries, please visit