Understanding Different Healthcare Options
Do you know all the options for medical care? Primary care doctors should be first on the list, as they have access to your medical history. However, we all encounter emergency situations when seeing a primary doctor is not possible. Know your options for quick access to emergent care and how much it costs to avoid financial surprises. If there is immediate danger, call 911. For other emergent medical needs, here are some other available options:
Virtual Visit: For a minor problem that doesn’t require an in-person visit, an online appointment is a convenient option. Cold, flu, fever, pinkeye and sinus problems are just a few routine illnesses that can be diagnosed by a care provider using telemedicine. You don’t need an appointment, and in most cases, the wait is 30 minutes or less. The cost often requires a copayment or coinsurance, sometimes less than a doctor’s visit.
Convenience Care Clinic: For minor issues that can’t be scheduled by a primary care doctor, this type of clinic treats skin rashes and earaches, offers flu shots, and addresses minor injuries. You do not need an appointment, but average wait times can vary. This option generally requires a copayment or coinsurance, and will cost about the same as a regular doctor’s visit.
Urgent Care Center: For a non-life threatening issue that requires quick care after-hours, an urgent care center will treat low-back pain, respiratory illnesses, stomach illnesses, infections, burns, stitches, sprains and small fractures. You do not need an appointment, and wait times are generally less than 30 minutes. This option requires a copayment that is often higher than a regular doctor’s visit.
Emergency Room – For serious or life-threatening illnesses and injuries, this is the safest option. Problems like chest pain, shortness of breath, severe asthma attacks, major burns, severe injuries and kidney stones qualify as emergencies. Wait times vary and can be long, depending on severity. This option usually requires a copayment, and it will be significantly higher than a regular doctor’s visit.
For more information and to compare your options, visit UHC.com/CheckChooseGo.