It was a long time coming, but as of January 1 patients covered by Tricare Prime can now visit any in-network urgent care center they want without a referral. The pilot program Congress instituted in May 2016 has become policy, doing away with restrictions that limited urgent care visits to two per year without receiving a referral. Point-of-service charges no longer apply, either. Tricare notes that the referral policy could be reinstated for 2019, and that the new policy does not apply to active-duty troops. In addition to those personnel, Tricare also covers military families and retirees.