What is Urgent Care?

Urgent care clinics treat acute illnesses and injuries that are not serious enough for a visit to an Emergency Room.

Urgent care centers will help treat a wide range of conditions including infections, allergies, skin conditions, flu, minor injuries and wounds, strep throat, and sporting injuries.

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Short Term and Fixed Indemnity Plans are Great Plans to Cover Urgent Care Costs

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If you currently have a health insurance policy with a high deductible that doesn't cover any benefits until the deductible is met or you're uninsured because you missed the 2018 Open Enrollment Period, you may be dreading the cost of seeing a doctor or visiting an urgent care facility and having to pay out-of-pocket. At the end of the day, if you're sick or hurt, paying out-of-pocket for treatment from a doctor or urgent care center is probably less expensive than going to the hospital or ignoring the issue until it snowballs into something much more serious, but it would just be better to have some kind of coverage in place so you don't have to bare all of the costs.

Luckily, that type of "save me from paying an arm and a leg for my hurt arm and leg" coverage is available and it's easier to get and more affordable than you would think. We'll break the discussion down into different sections so you understand your options. Here's all of the Non-Obamacare/Major Medical types of health insurance policies you could pick up at any time to help cover your doctor or urgent care bill.

Short Term Medical Insurance

Short Term Medical Insurance is basically the sister of Obamacare. Short term coverage has the same structure as an Obamacare/major medical plan in that you go to the urgent care facility and present your insurance card and the medical provider will charge you only your portion of the bill according to the type of plan that you have. The benefit of a short term medical plan is that it is much cheaper than a full price Obamacare plan. Also, there are usually a wider-open network of doctors to choose from, unlike with Obamacare plans, which have seen skinny networks in the past couple of years.

Every short term plan varies, but if you have a good one (make sure you look at plans offered by big, well-known carriers because they will have the widest network and the best benefits for the price), then you should just have to pay a copay in order to see the urgent care doctor, which is more than likely less than the copay required to visit an urgent care facility under an Obamacare plan.

Hospital & Doctor Fixed Indemnity

A hospital and doctor fixed indemnity plan is a really fancy way of saying "cash reimbursement for doctor, urgent care and hospital care". I'm sure you've heard people talk about "fixed indemnity" plans before but didn't really know what it was or how it could be used, so here's a quick breakdown of how you could use a fixed indemnity plan to pay your doctor or urgent care bill. If you have a fixed indemnity plan as a stand-alone product or to pair with your Obamacare plan and you go to the urgent care, you will have to pay the whole bill or your portion of the bill under your Obamacare plan (deductible/copay/coinsurance) up front and then you take that bill and submit it to the carrier of your fixed indemnity plan and they will send you a check for a set amount of money, which you use to pay yourself back for the bill you paid at the urgent care center in the first place. Keep in mind that there are usually annual limits on how often the plan will pay out for certain medical services like an urgent care visit, but being reimbursed for things that you already had to pay for is a definite win for your bank account.

Hospital Indemnity

Here's another one of those "indemnity" products that sounds confusing and may have caused you to run in the other direction in the past. The truth is, this is another great health plan that can be used to pay your urgent care bill and many other bills. Hospital indemnity plans are similar to hospital & doctor fixed indemnity plans because they also reimburse the insured a set amount of money after the medical service was provided. These plans are more tailored to provide benefits for medical issues that would require hospitalization, but it's still a great way to ensure that you're not coming totally out-of-pocket for your urgent care medical care.

Accident

If you have a busy, very active lifestyle and find yourself visiting the urgent care center for breaks, bruises, x-rays and factures more often than you'd like, then an accident plan may be a great option to help alleviate the financial pain you may feel from those medical bills, which probably only compounds the physical pain you feel from the injury. Accident plans pay the person a set amount of money if they have to receive medical care for certain injuries like concussions, factures, lacerations, or burns. These plans aren't just ideal for MMA fighters, but also for people who have physical jobs that may be risky at times like in the construction field. Under many accident plans offered by big-name carriers, if you receive medical care at an urgent care within 2 days of your injury, the plan will reimburse you. If you have an Obamacare plan with a high deductible, this cash could help you reach your deductible quickly. And if you're uninsured, this cash reimbursement will help lessen your out-of-pocket medical bills. Either way, it's a win-win. Urgent care centers are great alternatives for hospitals and have done a lot to decrease the wait times in emergency rooms and the medical costs families experience simply due to the fact that an urgent care visit is less costly than a hospital visit, but having a healthcare plan in place that will help bring down the financial cost of an urgent care visit even more and that also helps cover other medical events like regular doctor's visits, prescription drug coverage, or more serious events that land you in the hospital or needing specialized treatment is a great way to protect yourself and your family.

Check out a short term plan, hospital & doctor fixed indemnity plan, accident plan or hospital indemnity plan before your next urgent care visit so you're prepared.

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