Skye likes writing about mental health, nutrition, and wellness. She is passionate about sharing information that will educate, and positively affect people's lives.
Po-Chang Hsu, M.D.
Dr. Hsu received his medical degree from Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts, and holds a Master’s of Science degree from both Harvard University and Tufts University. Outside of the medical profession, Dr. Hsu loves to write, learn new languages, and travel.
February 18, 2021
Most urgent care visits cost $25 to $75, with insurance. Even without insurance, urgent care costs around $100 to $200 per visit.
Urgent care visit is considerably cheaper than an emergency room, making urgent care an excellent option for mild to moderate injuries.
Americans know that healthcare can be a big part of your yearly budget. Regardless of whether you have insurance through your work, through the state, or not at all, healthcare costs add up fast. Where you seek your medical care can play a major role in how much your bill will be.
With the emergency room being the most expensive, people often wonder if urgent care offices are a good alternative.
This article will describe what urgent care is, how much urgent care costs in different situations, explain why urgent care is so expensive, and explore other more affordable options, like online urgent care.
According to debt.org, “Urgent care centers are a valid bridge between your primary care physician and emergency room services.” You’ll find doctors, physicians assistants, and nurse practitioners at any urgent care clinic.
Many of these medical professionals are board-certified in emergency or family medicine.
Another big difference between your family doctor and urgent care is that urgent care requires same-day payment. Depending on the specific facility you go to, they may work out a payment plan with you.
Before any numbers are listed, keep in mind that health insurance makes a huge difference in what you pay for your needs. Every insurance carrier has different rates, so any costs or prices you see moving forward are averages across the country.
Just like visiting the emergency room or your family doctor, urgent care visits can fluctuate in price based on what kind of services you receive, such as testing or x-rays. The insurance covers most urgent care visits.
There are a few factors that will play into how much you’ll be paying before leaving the office:
Your initial visit to an urgent care office will have a fee, but there are additional services that will be added to the final bill. While insurance can help reduce these costs, and emergency rooms in hospitals are considerably more expensive, it still helps to know what you’ll be charged for.
Tests are usually conducted with extremely expensive machinery in conjunction with a trained and highly educated specialist. If an urgent care manager must pay his test specialists $100 per hour, you can be sure that some of that expense will be passed to you.
If you don’t have insurance, you’ll be paying for prescriptions and any medication out of pocket. You can ask for generic versions of these things in advance to help save some money. Many patients are unaware that generic prescription drugs have the same active ingredients as the much more costly name-brand versions.
Broken bones are a common occurrence at urgent care clinics. Casting an area of the body or using a brace will result in an extra charge. Bracing costs more than casting due to the materials used.
There’s no denying that getting healthcare without insurance can be daunting. Visiting the emergency room for a sore throat can cost you over $500!
It’s encouraged that you see a doctor at an urgent care location for your needs if you don’t have health insurance and if your situation is not life-threatening or exceedingly severe.
Urgent care is often the cheapest option compared to hospital and primary care clinics.
Urgent care may be incredibly convenient, especially on nights, weekends, and holidays, but it is often harder to tell what you will be charged.
One company surveyed patients across six major cities and found that the average cost of an urgent care visit without insurance ranged from $80 to $440, depending on what level of care was needed.
If you have insurance, it will be much cheaper to go to your primary care doctor.
If you don’t have insurance, it’s a toss-up that can vary depending on your location, the reason you’re visiting, and any treatment you may need.
Check your urgent care office’s website to see their services’ pricing schedules.
It can be hard to tell whether you should visit a walk-in clinic, urgent care, or make an appointment with your doctor.
Here’s a handy guide to give you an idea of where you can go for some of the most common conditions and ailments.
Overall, a local urgent care clinic visit is a middle ground between your primary care physician and the emergency room.
If you’re dealing with something like a cold, severe headache, or a broken arm on a holiday or weekend, urgent care is perfect.
If you’re ever experiencing chest pain or feel like you may be having a stroke, seek emergency care as soon as possible.
Online urgent care appointments can be made for things that don’t require any physical procedure.
If you only need a consultation on a minor ache, cut, or burn, online urgent care is a good choice for you. Often more affordable than an in-person visit, online urgent care is a more convenient way for patients to get the help they need.
Urgent care is one of the most affordable healthcare options available, second only to an in-network primary care physician. Even without insurance, most of the costs and fees for a trip to urgent care are a fraction of what they would be at the emergency room.
One great option for urgent care online is our affiliated site, PlushCare. Doctors at PlushCare can treat and prescribe medication just like an in-person urgent care center. PlushCare can save you time and money. You can book an appointment and speak to a doctor on your phone or computer in just 15 minutes.
Click here to book an appointment with a doctor.
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