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SICK program: what it is and how it helps

The Self-Initiated Care Kit is a program offered by the 7th Medical Group that allows military members, dependents and retirees who are receiving pharmaceutical benefits under Tricare to access over-the-counter medication without needing to make an appointment with the 7th MDG. Utilizing the program allows beneficiaries to save time and money in situations where they are experiencing a mild illness, but an appointment isn’t required.

The Self-Initiated Care Kit is a program offered by the 7th Medical Group that allows military members, dependents and retirees who are receiving pharmaceutical benefits under Tricare to access over-the-counter medication without needing to make an appointment with the 7th MDG. Utilizing the program allows beneficiaries to save time and money in situations where they are experiencing a mild illness, but an appointment isn’t required.

To obtain over-the-counter medication available with the Self-Initiated Care Kit program, individuals must first fill out a form at the pharmacy and choose the medication they need from those available and drop the form off at the 7th Medical Group pharmacy. The form can also be found electronically on the Dyess webpage by clicking on the "Medical Help” tab and following the link under "Pharmacy".

To obtain over-the-counter medication available with the Self-Initiated Care Kit program, individuals must first fill out a form at the pharmacy and choose the medication they need from those available and drop the form off at the 7th Medical Group pharmacy. The form can also be found electronically on the Dyess webpage by clicking on the "Medical Help” tab and following the link under "Pharmacy".

DYESS AIR FORCE BASE, Texas --

When someone gets sick, their first action might be to make an appointment, and if they’re a team Dyess member, they’ll probably make the appointment with the 7th Medical Group so they can be seen by a provider. What if their symptoms are mild and they don’t have the time to set up an appointment? What if they require medication, but the illness is not severe enough to be seen by a provider?

In such a scenario, they might use the Self-Initiated Care Kit program.

The program, which is offered by the 7th Medical Group, allows military members, dependents and retirees who are receiving pharmaceutical benefits under Tricare to access over-the-counter medication without needing to make an appointment with the 7th MDG.

According to the Healthcare Bluebook, an average provider appointment costs approximately 40 minutes of time and $176. 

"Some may not have the time or the need to make an appointment with their provider, and this is an option for them,” said Senior Airman Akeyah Linear, 7th Medical Support Squadron pharmacy flight technician. "This allows for them to save time and money while also allowing the clinic more open appointments for those with issues that need to be seen by a provider.”

To obtain the OTC medication, individuals simply fill out a form at the pharmacy and choose the medication they need from those available. The form can also be found electronically on the Dyess webpage by clicking on the "Medical Help” tab and following the link under "Pharmacy" or by following the link below:

https://www.airforcemedicine.af.mil/MTF/Dyess/Fill-and-Manage-Prescriptions/

Medications that are available through the SICK program include Tylenol, Ibuprofen, Mucinex, Zyrtec and many others for beneficiaries to take care of minor illnesses without an appointment.

Tricare covers all the costs of the medications, and they will be provided as needed. Individuals are authorized at most three medications per month per person. This limit includes military members, their dependents and retirees. 

"Those who are on flying status, pregnant or under the age of two, however, are not eligible to use the program and must make an appointment with their provider," Linear said. “If they need medications for multiple people, such as young dependents, the pharmacy will require a separate form filled out for them.”

All beneficiaries of Tricare will be expected to contact the on-call nurse for non-emergency after-duty medical needs; however, during the duty-day, Tricare recipients who use the 7th MDG as their primary care facility are to call the trusted care line at (325) 696-4677 to schedule appointments. If care is needed while traveling, beneficiaries are to call Humana at 1-800-444-5445.