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Travel checklist: Prepare for bugs and more

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Regardless of where this summer takes you, be aware of the bugs and insects that you may encounter along your way. Many can carry harmful diseases. Whether you're traveling across the world or across the state, get familiar with common symptoms and learn how TRICARE covers you should you run into creepy-crawlers this summer.

When preparing for a trip, follow this bug safety checklist:

  • Bug-proof yourself - TRICARE covers age-appropriate vaccines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Confirm that your routine vaccines are up to date, especially before traveling overseas. There may be other CDC-recommended vaccines depending on your travel plans. However, TRICARE may not cover these vaccines. Talk to your doctor about any vaccines you may need.
  • Know your benefit - You can use your TRICARE benefit while traveling. Coverage depends on your plan, your destination, and the purpose for your travel. Keep in mind your rules for getting urgent care depend on your plan. If you receive emergency care while traveling, keep all receipts in case you need to file a claim later.
  • Bring important phone numbers - Download a stateside or overseas wallet card. When traveling, you can contact the Military Health System (MHS) Nurse Advice Line for help 24/7. The MHS Nurse Advice Line can help you find a local doctor and connect you with a registered nurse who can answer your medical questions, no matter where you are.
  • Schedule routine care - Make sure you and your family get routine care covered by your benefit before you leave on your trip. And fill any prescriptions you may need while traveling ahead of time. If you need to fill a prescription while abroad, go to a military pharmacy if one is nearby or find the closest network pharmacy (available in the U.S. and U.S. territories). If a network pharmacy isn't available, visit a non-network pharmacy.
  • Learn bug-off tips - Prevention tips will help keep you and your family safe from insect-transmitted diseases and parasites while traveling.

It's Bug Week at the Military Health System. Check back this week, as we delve into mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas, oh my! And learn more about your benefits and what TRICARE covers on the TRICARE website.

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