So, I broke my left big toe today. Mrs. LTB and I were moving some boxes of metal shelving into our church's new food pantry. One of the boxes got away from me and all 109 lbs landed just forward of the second phalangeal joint. I iced it down for awhile and then decided to go to the local Quick Care clinic. I've had broken toes before. I know there's not much that can be done, but I wanted an X-ray to make sure there wasn't a crush injury that would need surgery to repair. I got there about 4pm and signed in and waited. The receptionist called my name and asked if I had a Tricare referral number. I said No. He says I can't be seen under Tricare Prime without a referral number. He gives me the phone number to call. After navigating through the various voice prompts, I finally reach a real person. The nice young man takes my info, verifies my eligibility and says a nurse will call me in 5-10 minutes. The nurse calls me after 3 minutes and does a telephone triage of my injury. I asked if I really needed to get a preauthorization to go to the Urgent Care clinic for a broken bone. She says Yes, I do. For life-threatening illnesses or injury, I could go straight to the ER. But for non-emergent care, including broken bones and lacerations, I would need to call the Tricare nurse first and get permission to go to the Ugent/Quick Care clinic. (The local base doesn't have an ER or UC clinic.) If I go to the ER for non-emergency treatment, I could be liable for the whole cost. Well, I got my authorization number and was seen by the doc. I have a small hairline fracture between the joint and the toe nail. Call me gimpy for a while, but I'll recover. I was just kind of stunned that I needed my government insurance's permission before seeking treatment for a broken bone.