You’ve probably heard of urgent care and wondered what it is and how much does urgent care cost without insurance?
Most people don’t realize that Urgent Care is one of the most affordable options for minor medical treatment if you don’t have insurance. But why is it important to know how much urgent care costs? It can help you save money, time and headaches.
Caring for the health of your family should always be a top priority. If you think you’ve run into a medical issue that requires attention, it’s important to understand your options. The following information will help you make an informed decision about urgent care visits to us — as well as how to navigate urgent care when needed.
Urgent care is a form of healthcare that provides rapid treatment for non-life-threatening conditions. It can be a good option if you have a medical condition that needs immediate attention but is not serious.
Urgent care centres are open and staffed during regular business hours; some open on weekends and holidays.
When you arrive at an urgent care centre, you’ll be asked to fill out a form with your medical history and insurance information. You’ll also have to pay any co-insurance or co-payments before seeing the doctor.
If you have Medicare insurance, you may be asked for your social security number so the clinic can bill Medicare directly for a visit. You should always confirm this with your insurance company before scheduling an appointment with an urgent care centre.
Once you’ve filled out all the paperwork, the doctor will examine you and determine whether or not he or she thinks you need immediate treatment. If so, he or she may treat your condition immediately or write a prescription for medication that can be picked up at a pharmacy later that day or during regular business hours on another day.
- 1 How Much Does Urgent Care Cost Without Insurance in 2022?
- 2 Factors That Influence Your Urgent Care Cost
- 3 What services are offered by urgent care facilities?
- 4 What distinguishes an emergency room from an urgent care centre?
- 5 Are urgent care facilities insurance-friendly?
- 6 Conclusion
How Much Does Urgent Care Cost Without Insurance in 2022?
Costs vary depending on the facility and your health insurance plan. Some urgent care centres offer discounts or free services for uninsured or underinsured patients.
Without insurance, the fees for a basic Level I urgent care appointment range from $80 to $280 and for an advanced Level II visit from $140 to $440. The price of your visit also depends on where you are. The best option for affordability and convenience is urgent care, whether for a fever, a sore throat, or even a sports injury.
An average urgent care visit costs between $189 and $299 out of pocket and includes a 20–30 minute consultation with a doctor and many diagnostic tests (flu, strep, urine test).
Expect to pay 30–50% extra for more involved appointments, including imaging services like X-rays or ultra-round. For instance, an X-ray-related visit for a sprain may cost $300 to 450 in out-of-pocket expenses.
The average cost of an urgent care visit (all included) at popular clinics
|Clinic Name||Average urgent care visit cost|
|FastMed Urgent Care||$199|
|Physicians Immediate Care||$230|
|Riverside Urgent Care||$239|
|Peachtree Immediate Care||$250|
|Tower Health Urgent Care||$275|
|Piedmont Urgent Care||$250|
|SouthStar Urgent Care||$190|
|Exer Urgent Care||$260|
The highest self-pay rate does not always imply that that is the most you will have to pay. What transpires at the clinic and how much the clinic decides to charge you if you don’t have insurance will determine your final cost.
Factors That Influence Your Urgent Care Cost
If you’ve ever been in a situation where you need to visit an urgent care centre, you know how important it is to find the right one. Some are better than others, but what exactly makes them better?
Your visit to an urgent care centre can vary greatly depending on several factors. Factors that influence your urgent care cost include:
- Complexity – how much clinical expertise is needed
The more complex your condition is, the more it will cost. Urgent care centres have less equipment and fewer specialized personnel than hospitals. So an urgent care centre will be able to treat a broken arm much more quickly than a hospital.
On the other hand, if you have chest pains or a serious injury, you may need to see a doctor at an urgent care centre, even though these problems can also be treated at a hospital.
Urgent care centres charge higher rates in urban areas because they offer more services and treat more complex cases. The average cost of an urgent visit in Los Angeles is $252 compared to $128 in Sacramento and $242 in Las Vegas, according to our survey of 100 urgent care clinics across the country.
The cost of a visit varies from place to place because of differences in labour costs, insurance reimbursement rates and other factors related to each location. For example, living in an area with high unemployment rates or low wages for healthcare professionals.
Average Out of Pocket Urgent Care Costs in Major Cities*
|City||Average cost of an urgent care visit|
|New York City, NY||$257|
|Las Vegas, NV||$242|
|San Antonio, TX||$194|
|Fort Worth, TX||$229|
|San Diego, CA||$215|
|Los Angeles, CA||$252|
|San Francisco, CA||$304|
It might be harder for the facility to hire and retain qualified staff members who can provide quality care. This could lead to longer wait times at the facility and poor customer service, which increase costs for patients needing urgent care services.
- Time Spent at the Facility
The longer you spend in a facility, the more expensive your visit will be. If you arrive with a simple complaint like a sore throat or gastroenteritis, it can be seen and treated within 30 minutes or less. However, if you come in with a broken bone or an infection that requires intravenous antibiotics, it could take several hours before you are seen by a provider and treated.
The cost of your visit will depend on how long treatment takes and how long you spend in the facility once treatment starts. The average wait time for an urgent care centre is about 15 minutes. Still, some facilities may have longer wait times if they have insufficient staffing or have difficulty finding available doctors who can see patients on short notice.
What services are offered by urgent care facilities?
Urgent care facilities often provide treatment for non-life-threatening medical illnesses, including:
- Atopic dermatitis and asthma
- Animal bites, insect bites, burns, and cuts
- Broken bones, sprains, strains, and falls
- Flu and colds
- Red eye
- infected ears
- sinus infections and pressure (sinusitis)
- Strep throat and bronchitis
The following lab testing services are frequently offered by urgent care facilities as well:
Blood tests such as complete blood counts, basic and comprehensive metabolic panels, and blood glucose tests are among them.
- Electrolyte analysis
- STD testing
- maternity tests
- screenings and drug tests
- Occult faeces with blood
- Rapid flu tests and the flu
- Staph tests
- INR and PT testing
Most urgent care facilities also offer regular medical services like:
- Influenza jabs and vaccinations
- Physicals (school, sports, or annual) (school, sports, or annual)
- Gynaecological examinations
- Drug testing
What distinguishes an emergency room from an urgent care centre?
Your medical condition will determine whether you visit the emergency department or urgent care. Always go to the emergency department if you have a medical emergency since urgent care won’t be able to give you the quality of care you require.
Let’s say you don’t need immediate medical attention, and the time is between 8 AM and 5 PM (unless the centre is open later or earlier). In that scenario, you might consider going to an urgent care facility.
Minor fractures, non-emergency x-rays, back pain, and cold and flu symptoms can all be treated at an urgent care centre. At the same time, more serious illnesses like chest pain, heart attack symptoms, and breathing difficulties may be treated in the emergency room.
Going to an urgent care centre rather than the emergency hospital is far more cost-effective when you have illnesses like the flu or a cold. A straightforward visit to the emergency room may easily cost over $500, with or without insurance, due to the high cost of operations (24/7 staffing, pricey equipment, etc.).
Are urgent care facilities insurance-friendly?
Whether or not an insurance company covers urgent care centres depends on that company. While many insurance companies cover urgent care visits, individuals must pay the co-pay or deductible their plan imposes.
Even though your insurance company would otherwise pay for the service, you should know that an urgent care facility may decide not to take your insurance. This might be avoided by contacting the urgent care facility in advance and finding out if they accept your insurance.
The best way to save money on Urgent Care without insurance is not to need it in the first place. Hopefully, you’ll never get injured or sick enough to require urgent care, but if you do, it’s important to be prepared financially.
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