It would be nice if nobody had to worry about money when medical attention is needed, but the reality is, the cost of a visit to the urgent care clinic is an important consideration. People without medical insurance in particular have good reason to be concerned. They will often delay seeking medical attention, or even forgo it altogether, as a result of the costs they might incur.
It’s important to remember, however, that visiting urgent care for medical attention is often not as costly as people think. Aside from that, people can incur real health risks from not seeking prompt medical care when the situation warrants it.
What Type of Insurance Do You Have?
Most urgent care clinics participate in at least one major health network. This information is often available on urgent care web sites, and if not, you should be able call the clinic and find out.
Normally, if the clinic is part of your health coverage network, you an expect to pay only a small deductible ($15-$50) for your urgent care visit. Everything else, including all necessary tests and treatments, will be paid by your insurance company.
It’s important to be aware of which urgent care clinics in your area are covered by your health insurance plan, and to be aware of how to reach them quickly when medical attention is needed. A little research goes a long way in making your medical situations run more smoothly.
What Type of Treatment Do You Need?
Again, most insurance plans (assuming they are accepted by the urgent care clinic you visit) will require only a small deductible in order to give you the tests and treatments you require. If you don’t have health insurance, or if you visit an urgent care clinic outside of your network, things get a little more complicated. You’ll be responsible for all of the costs associated with your visit, including examinations, medical tests, treatments, and possibly medication. Treatment for a sprain or broken bone will therefore be more expensive than something like a common cold or flu, since you’ll need x-rays and possibly corrective procedures. The cost of different medical procedures and tests varies between clinics, but a general idea of how much medical procedures cost at urgent care clinics can be found online.
So what’s the bottom line?
The Affordable Health Care Act now requires all Americans to have adequate health care coverage, and choosing to go without coverage incurs significant financial penalties. If you do choose to go without coverage, it’s possible to ask your urgent care clinic about the cost of a consultation, and the costs of many common treatments. But the majority of Americans, the cost of an urgent care visit will depend mostly on type of health coverage you have, and whether the urgent care clinic you visit is in your network. Researching the costs is easy when you know exactly what type of coverage you have. Any urgent care clinic will be able to tell you over the phone what costs will be covered and what deductibles will be involved, based on the nature of your coverage. That way, when you or someone you love needs urgent care, you won’t have to think twice.