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Care options and costs

Your primary care doctor is the best option for managing your overall healthcare needs, including your annual exams. But what about emergencies, an after-hours fever, or a flu shot? Here are three options:
doctor examining a baby boy

1 Retail clinics

These clinics, located in many pharmacies and large retailers, can treat minor conditions, provide vaccinations, and screening exams.

  • They accept most insurance plans.
  • Copays are often the same as a visit to your doctor.

2 Urgent care

These centers have a doctor on staff and can treat non-life-threatening injuries and illnesses.

  • Copays vary by insurance plan.
  • You may be responsible for a deductible.
  • Ask whether the facility is in your plan’s network.

3 Free-standing emergency rooms

These are equipped and staffed for critical life-threatening events.

  • Copays may be similar to a hospital ER.
  • You may get bills from individual doctors or for lab services.
  • They can’t bill Medicare or Medicaid.


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Last updated: 3/2/2018