The most common reason people seek help from urgent care centers or emergency rooms (ERs) are for respiratory issues. When you develop a problem like this or other emergency health situations, where should you go?
Many people begin by calling their doctor’s office. When they can’t get in to see their primary care physicians, they might seek help from urgent care or an ER. Before you decide where to go, you might want to compare urgent care vs. ER costs.
Choosing the right option is not only crucial for the costs, but it’s also essential for your diagnosis and treatment. Here are a few things to know about the cost differences between urgent care and an ER.
Urgent Care vs. ER Cost Differences
In most cases, it costs much less to visit an urgent care center compared to an ER. An ER is a place that must accept all patients, regardless of their illness, insurance, or demographics. As a result, ERs are typically busier than urgent care facilities.
ERs also charge higher rates for several reasons. First, they have more overhead costs. They have doctors on staff all the time, and they also have nurses and other employees, including janitors. The buildings are larger and cost more to operate.
Check Your Copays
If you have health insurance coverage, it might be beneficial to examine your copays for an ER visit cost vs. urgent care cost. In most cases, health insurance copays will be lower for urgent care visits.
You can contact your health insurance provider to ask about the cost differences if you aren’t sure. They can tell you which is more cost-effective, and you can base your decision on where to go by using this information.
You might also want to write a list of questions to ask your health insurance provider when you call. Asking the right questions can help you make the right choice.
One question to ask is about the services they provide. You might need to choose an ER if you need services that an urgent care center doesn’t offer.
As you consider your options, it might help to know the average cost people pay for urgent care visits vs. ER visits. The amount you pay depends on the reason for your visit, the treatment they offer, and the insurance you have.
For example, if you visit each place for a respiratory infection, you will see a big difference in the costs of urgent care vs. an ER. The cost for urgent care is around $111 on average, while people pay around $486 on average for treatment at an ER.
Make Your Choice
As you compare the differences between urgent care vs. ER costs, you can make an informed decision on where to go. If both places offer the services you need, you can choose the option that costs the least.
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