When you need same-day medical treatment, wondering how to pay for it with or without insurance shouldn’t deter you from getting the care you need. If you’re wondering, “How much is urgent care without insurance?” here is some basic information about urgent care vs. emergency room costs to help ease any concerns.
Main differences between urgent care vs. emergency room
The main differences between urgent care and emergency room services are the level of care and cost. If you have a severe or life-threatening illness or injury, an emergency room is better equipped to manage your care, especially if you need surgery.
Urgent care facilities are specifically designed to manage nonlife-threatening conditions that need same-day medical care.
Urgent care services
Here are the typical services provided by urgent care facilities:
- Colds, flu, and fever
- Ear infections
- Bladder infections
- Cuts, bruises, and burns
- Strains, sprains, and fractures
Emergency room services
Here are the typical services provided by an emergency room:
- Sudden or severe pain
- Uncontrolled bleeding
- Chest pain or difficulty breathing
- Coughing or vomiting blood
- Confusion or loss of consciousness
The best option for low-cost medical care is to schedule an appointment with your primary care doctor. However, if you have an injury or illness that requires same-day medical treatment, and your doctor isn’t available, urgent care is your next best option. Emergency rooms should be reserved for serious or life-threatening medical conditions that need immediate attention.
How much does urgent care cost?
The cost of urgent medical care will vary depending on whether you have insurance coverage or not and whether you’ve met your deductible for the year or not.
The average cost of an in-network urgent care visit is often very affordable with insurance. Copays are typically between $25-75 per visit, but costs may be higher until you’ve met your deductible. But keep in mind that insurance providers may have restrictions on which urgent care facilities they cover.
The average cost of an emergency room visit is at least $750, while the same treatment at an urgent care without insurance can cost as little as $150. It is important to note, however, that your total urgent care cost largely depends on whether you need lab tests, x-rays, casting, or additional treatments, such as:
- Medications and injections
Those without medical insurance are responsible for the cost of medications, injections, and IVs. However, if you inform your physician and medical staff that you do not have insurance, they will often use a generic substitute (if one is available) instead of the more expensive name-brand medicines.
- Tests and x-rays
Those without medical insurance are also responsible for the cost of any onsite EKG, x-ray or laboratory services, which can be costly (but not as costly as those performed in an emergency room).
- Casts and splints
Those without medical insurance are also responsible for the cost of any casting or bracing materials used to treat the affected bone.
Can I lower my urgent care costs without insurance?
You may be able to negotiate lower urgent care costs if you do not have insurance. For example, you can ask the urgent care administrative staff or healthcare provider if there is a low-interest payment plan or income-based discount on services.
If you are temporarily without insurance and feel you cannot afford a comprehensive health plan right now, you may want to consider short-term health insurance or a medical indemnity (fee-for-service) plan. Short-term health insurance plans provide insurance coverage for a certain period, and medical indemnity plans provide set benefits for common healthcare services, like urgent care visits.
If you or a loved one needs urgent care without insurance, please visit Coastal Urgent Care of Baton Rouge. First and foremost, if you have an acute need for medical care, don’t hesitate. Just come on in. We’ll help you get the best possible care fast and at a reasonable price.
Walk-in appointments are always welcome, 7 days a week.