Urgent Care or Emergency Room – How Do I Choose?
When you or your family member is sick, it can be stressful and overwhelming to determine where you should go and how you should respond. While it is important to always seek care and listen to your instincts if you are ill or injured, knowing when it is better to go to urgent care than the ER can save you money on your medical bills. With most plans, a trip to the ER is much more expensive than urgent care. Urgent care is also more expensive than a standard appointment, but usually you are making the choice between ER and urgent care when you need to seek care the same day. It is worth noting that with some carriers, same-day coverage can be achieved through a telemedicine option or even same day appointments depending on availability.
If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, go to the emergency room! Otherwise, urgent care may be a good option:
- Heavy bleeding
- Large wounds
- Chest pains
- Head injuries
- Difficulty breathing
- Broken bones
If you do decide to head to urgent care instead of the ER, make sure you call first and check that your insurance is accepted and that this center is in network. While you are on the phone, ask if they take appointments! An urgent care visit almost always means long waits, so some urgent care centers will now notify you when your place in line is coming up, so that you can stay at home until the last minute.