You are not alone… more and more Americans are being forced to accept health insurance plans with incredibly high deductibles or drop their health insurance coverage altogether.
Millions of people of all ages in the United States either don’t have health insurance or have insurance that doesn’t help them when they have an acute illness.
If fact, in 2017, 29 million people of all ages were uninsured according to the National Health Interview Survey.
Also, health insurance companies have dramatically raised deductibles to record levels.
Patients who need after-hours medical care want to use their insurance to pay for the visit, but with deductibles as high as nearly $10,000 in some cases, people don’t realize that they essentially don’t have any non-emergency coverage.
As people realize that using health insurance is not an option and using a hospital-based clinic or an ER is dangerously expensive, more and more people are turning to local and more affordable options.
Your local urgent care is a more affordable alternative to hospital emergency rooms or hospital-based primary care doctor’s offices. But, if you need to go to urgent care, it’s a good idea to know how much you’ll be expected to pay ahead of time.
What is the cost of an urgent care visit?
Short answer - it depends. More complex problems cost more than simple fixes. Average price for a new patient visit ranges from $250-$350 in Anchorage.
What if I don’t have health insurance?
Without health insurance, your local urgent care is a much better choice for minor, acute issues. You will pay four to five times more in the ER than an urgent care. Many people go to the ER because they know they’ll have to be treated, even without insurance. They may not realize that urgent care centers will also treat you without insurance and many will offer payment plans if you can’t pay upfront.
What can I do to save money if I use an urgent care?
Thankfully, since so many people are dealing with high deductibles and a lack of insurance, a few urgent care centers are helping people afford health care by:
• Posting rates. (Look up rates online before you go)
• Offering discounts. (Ask about discounted/cash/self-pay rates)
• Offering payment plans. (Ask about any payment plans)
• Offering pharmacy discount cards. (Try GoodRx.com)
• Prescribing generic prescriptions.