Approximately 70% of emergency room visits involving patients who have consumer-sponsored insurance coverage are for non-emergency or preventable conditions. That means that a substantial number of patients with insurance visit the ER when they could have been easily (and more affordably) treated at a walk in clinic. But even though more Americans now have insurance coverage than in the past, not every resident is able to afford a healthcare policy. Unfortunately, this can leave many families in a financial bind when someone falls ill or sustains an injury. Some families do not even have a primary care physician, while others know that going to the emergency room in a non-life-threatening situation will come with costs they simply cannot afford. Fortunately, these families can go to their closest urgent care location to receive fast, effective treatment -- even without insurance coverage.
Although urgent care facilities often get lumped into one basic category, there are actually different kinds. Some are owned by physicians or physician groups, while others are owned by corporations or hospitals. While this doesn't have anything to do with the caliber of care they provide, it can impact what these facilities charge for certain services. That means there's typically a fairly wide range in charges for services, both with an without insurance.
Generally speaking, a patient who visits an urgent care facility and who doesn't have insurance will likely pay somewhere between $70 and $150 for the base price of a visit, not including special services (like setting broken bones, taking X-rays, tests, and medications). Those additional services will tack on an extra fee to your visit. While staff members may not be able to tell you exactly what you'd owe before you're examined by a physician, they may be able to give you a ballpark figure about the base price, at least, without insurance coverage. You don't need an appointment to receive this convenient medical treatment, but it may help to call the facility and inquire about costs before you go. You may also want to contact a few facilities, rather than merely the closest urgent care location near you, to compare price structures without insurance.
It's also important to note that the facility may be willing to offer a payment plan to make your treatment more affordable. Other centers may even have discount programs to ensure families can receive the quality care they need at a price they can feasibly pay. Again, it really depends on the facility itself. In most cases, urgent care staff members won't want you to forgo treatment because it's too expensive. To be on the safe side, make sure to ask staff members how they bill visits before you arrive; should they bill patients as an ER, rather than as an urgent care facility, you may end up owing more than you'd anticipated.
The easy answer is that YES, you can absolutely receive convenient medical treatment at your local walk-in clinic without insurance coverage. That said, it's important to inquire with the facility to see what they might charge for your service and ask questions about billing procedures. No one should ever be refused medical treatment due to astronomical costs. To find out more about what your closest urgent care location might charge for services without insurance coverage, be sure to contact them before you arrive.
Legacy ER & Urgent Care
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