There is a new trend that has hit. In an effort to drive out high-cost waste in our healthcare system we have to be better consumers of that Healthcare. Many folks don’t prepare to use their plan in advance of having something happen. If they are guys, they are only going if it is broken or bloody. Well, the share of costs has increased. Your co-pays for Emergency Room visits continue to go up. Not everything is truly an Emergency. There is a stage of care between your Doctor and an ER visit. That is called Urgent Care. They can treat all kinds of injuries and illnesses in a non-hospital environment. The ER is truly for the sickest and most injured. You go there for stitches, they will make you wait forever as they triage their patients. You are a lower priority. However, if you go to Urgent Care, affiliated with your Primary Care Doctor group, they will get you in and get you out. I have used them for stitches and broken bones. Urgent Care has a lower co-pay to make it attractive for you to take your illnesses and injuries there.
So here is what I tell my clients. Once you get your ID card, look up online where your Doctor is? Then look up and know the closest Hospital to home and work. It may be different. Also, Make sure you know the closest Urgent Care Center affiliated with your Doctor group and have that info easily accessible in your phone! Don’t wait, because you will be under duress and may go to the ER when an Urgent Care visit would have done the trick and saved you money.