Health insurance is a topic on the forefront of many people’s minds. It is all over the media and for those people fortunate enough to have a health insurance plan it will cover those unpredictable moments in life. You can get timely medical care and protect the health and financial future of your family in the face of rising healthcare costs. It is a fact of life that accidents and diseases tend to happen when least expected and they can throw everything out of gear by throwing a wrench in your carefully planned budget. When you look at the facts and figures of how accidents and diseases, whether work-related or otherwise, take a heavy financial and personal toll worldwide, having a good health insurance plan becomes even more valuable. The Center for Disease Control estimates that spending on direct care for cancer alone is over $74 billion per year, with individual treatment costs at almost $2,000 per day. Having a health insurance plan can help alleviate these costs and save you from a financial crisis.
However, just having a health insurance plan is not enough. You need to be able to make good decisions about where to go for coverage and make full use of all of your plan’s benefits. Many people find it difficult to navigate the myriad of choices available to them when they simply need to see a doctor. There are many instances where people are unable to get the treatment covered despite having a good insurance plan because they mistakenly chose to get treatment at a medical facility that is not covered under their insurance plan. Even at a facility which is covered, it is often difficult to get an appointment for the same day or the following day, primarily due to an overall shortage of physicians and a heavy influx of patients. And, if any serious disease strikes in the dead of night, getting access to a physician immediately is next to impossible. You will likely find yourself in this sort of situation eventually, as most medical facilities typically operate during conventional office hours and are closed when you find yourself in need of urgent treatment. In such instances, you may be tempted to try a number of options like seeking over the counter medication at a drugstores or even waiting several days to see your normal doctor.
If that is the case, an urgent care center could well be the best option available in today’s health care system. These facilities do not have such constraints like overcrowding, long waiting times, conventional hours of operation, a shortage of physicians and assistants such as nurses and so on. Urgent care centers are walk-in clinics where you do not need a prior appointment to see a physician nor do you have to wait for forever to be seen. There the physicians and the staff are specifically dedicated to providing prompt and courteous service without neglecting the quality of treatment. But, above all, what is beneficial for you as an owner of a health insurance plan is that an increasing number of health insurance companies have started covering visits to these clinics for a modest co-payment and this co-payment is usually less than the co-pay for an ER visit. As such, if you have an illness which is serious but not life threatening, you can safely visit an urgent care center and get all your treatments covered under the plan.
As discussed earlier, it is not enough to simply have a good health insurance plan; you need to go to the right medical facility for your disease or injury to make best use of your benefits. For a minor ailment, a visit to an emergency room is not your best option as the co-pay will be higher than at an urgent care center, and you will likely face long wait times as patients with more serious issues are treated first. Therefore, a visit to an emergency room should only be for a major emergency. An urgent care center will be able to provide treatment for your minor issues, both cheaper and quicker than an ER. It can be difficult, but well worth the effort to evaluate how to best use your health insurance plan and know where to go to receive the best level of care.