Integra Insurance Services Blog

All You Ever Wanted to Know About Insurance

Use Your Insurance Wisely

  Learning the best way to utilize your insurance plan will allow you to reap the rewards. A common mistake I think we can all agree we have made at one time or another is choosing to go to the emergency room, when in reality a trip to urgent care would better serve your pocketbook and your time. Illness or injury often occurs at the most inconvenient times. For example, when your doctor’s office is closed or when the wait time for an appointment is too long. Your first inclination might be to seek treatment at the ER however; they are not always the fastest choice for your medical care needs and certainly not the most cost-effective. In the case of a non-emergency situation, before you head to the nearest emergency room, consider using the nearest urgent care clinic instead. Urgent care clinics are a convenient after-hours, no appointment necessary option for a number of common non-emergency conditions including:

  • Ear infection
  • Minor cuts, bumps and sprains
  • Fever or flu symptoms
  • Allergic reaction
  • Cough, cold or sore throat
  • Animal bites
  • Minor skin rash
  • Mild asthma
  • Minor burns
  • Urinary tract infection

Urgent care is typically a fraction of the cost associated with an ER. With your plan, you would likely pay an office copay if you went to an urgent care facility. If you went to the ER, you would likely have to meet your deductible (if you haven’t already done so), and be responsible for a percentage of the total ER cost. The average ER visit can cost up to $750, nearly five times the cost of an urgent care visit. That means you could potentially save hundreds of dollars by choosing urgent care over the ER. The average ER visit is 3 hours; urgent care visits are generally an hour. By opting for urgent care, your bill will be reduced greatly and time will be better spent.