Know Before You Go: Urgent Care

Posted on: 7 January 2020

Urgent care is a place that you can go when you have a moderate medical emergency (one that is not life-threatening). All life-threatening emergencies should go directly to their nearest hospital emergency room. Urgent care is especially great for nighttime health challenges, since you may be able to get into your doctor during the day. There are a few things you may want to know, however, before you check-in at your closest urgent care. 

Check With Your Insurance

Before you drive to the urgent care nearest you, you may want to call them or your insurance company to see if that specific clinic is in-network for you. Clinics that are in-network will likely charge you a small copay for their services. If they are out-of-network, on the other hand, they may charge you an estimated cost before they see you. This could be in the ballpark of $100-$300. Obviously, it is cheaper than the emergency room, though you may be able to save quite a bit of money if you go to urgent care that is in-network for you. 

Bring Documentation

Since urgent care is not your regular doctor, they will need all of your medical insurance cards, as well as your personal identification cards. If you are a parent, your children should be listed on your insurance cards. If you are taking someone else's child to urgent care, you will need a letter or note from their parent authorizing you to bring them, and for them to receive services. 

Urgent Care Clinics Are All Different

It is important to know that all urgent care clinics are different, offering different services. For example, the urgent care nearest to your house may not have an x-ray machine, while the one in the next town over might. If you are particular about what doctors you trust, you may want to get a list of which doctors work at which clinic for future reference. Also, as previously stated, every urgent care accepts different insurance plans, so you should check with your insurance company before you go. 

There Will Be A Wait

Unfortunately, urgent care will still involve a wait. This may be especially true during peak times of the year when many people are experiencing cold and flu symptoms. 

In conclusion, an urgent care clinic may be the best solution for your medical needs, though you should go in prepared and understanding how they work. This could save you a lot of time and money in the long run.