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Care options and costs

Did you wake up with a sore throat but can’t get an appointment with your doctor? You have several options to get the care you need – and avoid a big bill later.
doctor examining a baby boy

1 Nurse line

Does your doctor's office have a nurse line or online chat feature? Many of these services are available at all hours, and there’s no charge to use them.

2 Virtual visit

There are several online services that allow you to connect to a doctor from your phone, tablet, or computer.

  • Usually available at all hours and on weekends and holidays.
  • Check to see if your health plan has a preferred service.
  • Copays may be lower than an office visit or even free.

3 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, and some plans have lower copays for these clinics.

4 Urgent care

These centers have a doctor on staff and can treat injuries and illnesses that aren’t an emergency but do need quick action, such as a sprain or cut.

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


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Last updated: 6/7/2018