Emergency Room VS Walk -In Clinic and Your Insurance
We all like options right? Today we have lots of options when it comes to healthcare. We can choose our doctor from a list of network physicians, select generic prescriptions versus brand name, and we can even choose whether or not we want to go to the Emergency Room or a Walk-In Clinic in urgent but non life-threatening circumstances. The last option may mean a big difference in dollars you need to pay! Read on to learn more!
If you had the opportunity to pay lower copays, would you jump at the chance? I know I would! Did you know that your may have the opportunity for lower copays if you choose to get care at an in-network walk-in clinic instead of an emergency room? That’s right! Your insurance may reward you with a lower copay when you elect to get treatment in a walk-in clinic rather than an ER for non life threatening illnesses or injuries. In some instances, you may only need to pay $25 to $50 in copay fees when visiting an in network walk-in clinic as opposed to thousands of dollars in Emergency Room bills.
What Type of Services Can You Expect From A Walk-In Clinic?
You may be surprised at the vast amount of services a Walk-In Clinic or Urgent Care facility can provide. Check out our table below for details of what may be treated in an urgent care facility.
Emergency Room Fees Add Up…Quickly!
Emergency room fees tend to add up fast, even before you get there, especially if an ambulance was called. Depending on your insurance, you could be charged anywhere from as low as $25 but as high as $1,200.
Once you arrive to the Emergency Room, there is a chance that you will need x-rays, special diagnostic testing, medicine and more. Below is my list of tips for monitoring your emergency room bill:
- Make sure you have a trusted friend or family member with you to help you do some legwork
- Ask for an itemized list of your bill and scrutinize it for procedures not done or medication not given
- Talk to the billing department. Find out if there are different sets of costs for procedures done and select one that fits your budget if you can
- Discuss a payment plan. Typically hospitals do not want a bill to go to collection agencies. See if they will work out a reasonable payment plan with you
- Discover if there are financial aid programs available to you or if there are any not-for-profit organizations that can help with paying the bill
When Should You Go To An Emergency Room?
Some conditions that should be seen by an Emergency Room staff include:
- Severe chest pain or difficulty breathing
- Compound fracture (bone protrudes through skin)
- Convulsions, seizures or loss of consciousness
- Fever in newborn (less than 3 months old)
- Heavy, uncontrollable bleeding
- Deep knife wounds or gunshot wounds
- Moderate to severe burns
- Serious head, neck or back injury
- Pregnancy-related problems
- Severe abdominal pain
- (Signs of) Heart attack (i.e.. chest pain lasting longer than two minutes)
- (Signs of)Stroke (e.g. loss of vision, sudden numbness, weakness, slurred speech, or confusion)
- Suicidal or homicidal feelings
When in doubt, get to the nearest emergency room and get the treatment you need.
Before an emergency happens, take the time to understand your policy and what is included and required during an emergency
If you have questions about your coverage and need assistance understanding your policy, contact me, Your Obamacare Guy at (813) 391-3448 or dave@YourObamacareGuy.com. It is my pleasure to help people get the coverage they need to live the healthiest life possible!