Urgent care is a convenient option for receiving medical attention for a minor injury. If an emergency room visit seems a bit too much or you’re not able to get in with your primary care physician, you can opt for urgent care services. There are over 9,000 urgent care centers across the country, including urgent care in Lexington, KY. But, how much does a visit to urgent care cost?
On average, urgent care visits can cost between $80–$450. This varies greatly depending on whether you have insurance or not, the type of care you receive, and where you are located in the country. Read on to learn what you might expect to pay for your urgent care visit with or without insurance.
Cost of Urgent Care With Insurance
Most insurance plans will cover urgent care visits and you might expect to pay your copayment at the time of service. This is similar to how you are expected to pay a copayment when you visit your primary care physician. The amount of your copay depends on your individual health insurance plan and may be different than the copay amount at your primary doctor’s office.
One of the requirements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is that all health insurance plans that are ACA-compliant must cover emergency services. However, some insurance plans don’t consider urgent care to be in the same benefit class as emergency services. Below are two common distinctions health insurance plans make between urgent care and emergency services.
- Urgent care may be defined as a non-life-threatening medical condition that doesn’t require immediate medical attention but may require attention within a 24-hour period.
- Your plan may have a different copay amount for urgent care than it does for emergency services, which in most cases would be less compared to the ER. It’s likely your copay amount would be the same at urgent care as it would be at your doctor’s office.
On average, an urgent care visit can cost between $150–$200. The cost will depend on the level of care you receive. For a more comprehensive understanding of the cost associated with urgent care in Lexington, KY, check out your insurance policy or contact your provider.
Cost of Urgent Care Without Insurance
Medical costs without insurance can be rather high. While you will pay more at urgent care in Lexington, KY without insurance compared to what an individual with insurance will pay, you will still pay less than you would if you went to the emergency room.
The average cost of an urgent care visit for a simple medical issue such as the flu or a sore throat can cost between $190–$300 out of pocket. For a more complex visit that might include imaging services such as an x-ray, you might pay between $300–$450 out of pocket on average.
In addition to the services you receive at urgent care, you may need to pay out of pocket for anything related to the recommended treatment plan, such as medications. You want to be aware of this so you can properly budget the cost. Speak with the healthcare professional during your visit to express financial concerns so they can prescribe a plan accordingly.
If you are without insurance, it’s a good idea to shop around for urgent care locations in your area, such as urgent care in Lexington, KY, or urgent care in Martinez. Get an idea of what the cost could be to find the one that is most affordable for you. It also doesn’t hurt to speak with the clinic you visit and explain your circumstances. In some cases, you may be able to negotiate the cost of your urgent care visit. This could be with an income-based discount or a low-interest payment plan.
Cost Savings Compared to Visting the Emergency Room
Whether you have insurance or not, you can save quite a bit of money by choosing to visit urgent care instead of the emergency room. The cost to receive care for a non-life-threatening injury such as a urinary tract infection can be nearly 5 times more at the ER versus urgent care.
The difference in cost comes down to the services provided. Since the ER services life-threatening injuries, they have the staff and equipment to handle that level of care, which increases their overhead cost. Urgent care clinics do not treat major injuries and don’t require the resources to do so, which ends up saving you money.
Urgent care is a much more affordable option for receiving medical attention for a minor injury. Whether you are covered by insurance or are without insurance, you will still be able to enjoy major cost savings by choosing to seek attention at urgent care in Lexington, KY.