With the threat of flu season added to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, you might not want to go to the doctor’s office for a minor health issue. And with the Military Health System (MHS) Nurse Advice Line, you may not have to. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one of the best ways to prevent flu and COVID-19 is to avoid contact with people who are sick. With the MHS Nurse Advice Line, you can get health advice 24/7 from a registered nurse from the comfort of your home.
“Virtual care, such as the Military Health System Nurse Advice Line, has become an important tool in fighting infectious diseases,” said U.S. Public Health Service Lt. Bobby Taylor, MHS Nurse Advice Line program manager. “This free resource allows TRICARE beneficiaries to practice social distancing measures while still receiving answers to their health questions no matter where they are.”
You may have some questions about this service. Here are some answers to get you started.
Am I eligible to use the MHS Nurse Advice Line?
Yes, if you’re a TRICARE beneficiary living or traveling in the U.S. or in a country outside the U.S. with military hospital or clinic. The nurse and care teams will provide advice based on the care available to you based on your status and health plan:
- TRICARE Prime
- TRICARE Plus
- TRICARE Prime Remote
- TRICARE Overseas Program Prime
- TRICARE Overseas Program Prime Remote
- TRICARE Select
- TRICARE Overseas Program Select
- TRICARE For Life
- TRICARE Reserve Select
- TRICARE Retired Reserve
- TRICARE Young Adult
You can’t use the MHS Nurse Advice Line if you’re enrolled in the US Family Health Plan, which has its own nurse advice line.
What services does the MHS Nurse Advice Line offer?
Sometimes you need a quick answer to a health question. Maybe your concern can’t wait until you see your doctor. Specially trained registered nurses can help you navigate your family’s health care needs anytime, day or night. Some of the services include:
- Answering your health care questions
- Assessing your symptoms and giving recommendations for the most appropriate steps to take
- Providing instructions to treat minor issues or self-care tips that you can use at home
- Helping locate an appropriate urgent care or emergency care facility, if necessary
- Helping you schedule an appointment at a military hospital or clinic if you’re enrolled
If you call the MHS Nurse Advice Line about your child, you can speak to a nurse who has special pediatric training. Nurses also have experience in answering questions and providing advice on how and when to seek help for mental health issues. These services are available at no cost to you.
If you reasonably believe you have an emergency, always call 911 or your international emergency number. Or, go to the nearest emergency room. The MHS Nurse Advice Line isn’t for medical emergencies.
How do I access the MHS Nurse Advice Line?
You can call and speak to a nurse by phone. If you’re in the U.S., Guam, or Puerto Rico, call 1-800-TRICARE (1-800-874-2273), then choose option 1. You can find all other country-specific phone numbers on the website. In addition to the phone, other options may include web chat and video chat.
When you have a medical concern or an illness or injury occurs after hours, consider the MHS Nurse Advice Line. Registered nurses are available 24/7 to answer your health care questions and assess your symptoms from the convenience of your home.