The cost of urgent care without health insurance varies from place to place and is dependent on what kind of treatment or services you require. However, if you have a non-fatal injury or illness, the urgent care clinics or walk-in clinic costs are a much cheaper alternative than going to the emergency room.
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If you are not in immediate danger of death, a trip to the urgent care clinic will not just be cheaper (we are talking potentially huge amounts of money), it will also probably be a much quicker one. However, having some form of insurance coverage is still your best option.
How can I best afford an emergency room or urgent care visit without insurance?
Emergency rooms have become incredibly overcrowded, primarily because of people going for reasons that are definitely not emergencies. Car accidents, heart attacks, falling down or up stairs, being bitten by a rabid dog—those are definitely emergencies.
If you are visiting for a cold or flu or another non-life threatening illness, you should expect your urgent care costs to be somewhere between $50 and $100. If you need tests, that will cost you a bit more, of course.
If you are worried about how much is urgent care for a one time visit then one option is to go to a clinic with cash. Sometimes, if you can pay fees upfront, you can absolutely get a discount on your bill. They are often happy to do this because they know you will be one less patient they could potentially have to hunt down for payment.
Urgent care costs without insurance can be a burden on patients and thus some clinics and doctor’s offices alike occasionally have free samples of medications, but you may very well have to pay for your own prescriptions. However, some urgent care facilities—particularly those that are specifically focused on the uninsured – may have their own pharmacies where you can purchase some medications at good discounts.
What are my urgent care options?
So how much does urgent car cost without insurance? Know that there are always many different local options for quality health care even if you do not have health insurance. There are often free community clinics that provide urgent care with nor insurance as well as primary, general care. If you think that you are not eligible for health care because maybe you make too much money to get aid and too little to pay for quality health care, think again. Most of these clinics charge based on sliding scales, so that people pay what they are able to afford to get the care they need.
Your local Planned Parenthood, for example, would be a far better place to go if you were a female with a UTI than the emergency room. You will be seen sooner, have a quicker appointment, and will most likely be charged based on what you can pay (make sure to bring a pay stub).
While urgent care clinics are predominately used for occasional care for a specific problem, some people are sometimes able to make their urgent care clinic their regular doctor (to go there for regular, periodic physicals, for example). This is not necessarily recommended. The quality of care is not the same, and doctors may rotate in and out of these clinics more often, but it can be an option.
When should I choose an emergency room over urgent care?
The main thing to remember is that it is always going to be in your best interest to use emergency rooms for true emergencies only, or for serious problems that cannot wait until a more appropriate healthcare opens in the morning. The overcrowding and long waits at emergency rooms have become a problem throughout the country. We can all do our part to lessen that problem, even if we do have health insurance.
If you think you may be coming down with something serious and are afraid of what it may cost to go to the emergency room, go to the urgent care clinic as soon as you can. The cost of urgent care without insurance will be much cheaper and also likely quicker. Because most people who use the emergency room for illnesses usually wait until the illness has really progressed, they are far sicker and require more care that is more expensive. It is the whole “an ounce of prevention” thing; if you go to the clinic earlier on, you can save your self time, frustration and money.
If you are considering urgent care because you don’t believe that you can afford health insurance, you owe it to your self to look into the costs. There are many kinds of affordable health care options, though, and it does not have to be impossible for you to find one that offers what you are looking for.
The free online health insurance quotes tool on this page can provide you with a large list of health insurance companies and their rates. You can compare, contrast, and contact them from there with any specific questions. Don’t wait until you are deathly sick before going to the doctor. You can find exactly what you need today.
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