Ever thought about going to the emergency room knowing your need was not an emergency? It can seem like a convenient option if you do not have your own primary care physician or think you cannot take time off work to go to a doctor during normal business hours. Emergency room visits are not as glamorous as they seem on a silver screen, but they can cost as pretty a penny as some celebrities make. Here are the top five reasons you may want to avoid visiting an ER for non-emergency care.

  1. It Costs More Money All Around

    Figures blogged online in 2014 by Blue Cross Blue Shield North Carolina report that only about 35 percent of ER visits are actual emergencies. That other 65 percent of non-emergency visits drive up health care costs into the billions. If you are unsure whether you have a true emergency, do get medical attention immediately. For However, learn now about some affordable and convenient alternatives they and more insurance companies now offer their customers.

    Going to the emergency room is not free if you are unable to pay, and ER abusers are worse offenders than the uninsured. Even if you have a low co-pay or deductible, that visit can average more than $1,200 compared to as little as $60 for convenient, quality care at urgent care centers open late and on weekends. For about $40 to $60, you can visit an online doctor right from home. They can diagnose and treat many non-emergency medical conditions.

    2. Wait Times Are Long

    Help is not faster when you visit an ER. Patients are seen in order according to whom has the most urgent need for medical attention. This can change every time another patient comes in and stretch for hours. Average wait times at an urgent care facility are only about 20 to 30 minutes. Imagine how quickly you could be seen from anywhere in the world by a Board Certified and Licensed doctor. You would save minutes as precious as your pennies.

    3. It Could Affect Premiums for Your Group

    A group’s insurance claims influence an insurance company’s decision to offer coverage in specific area and to specific groups. It can affect the plans they offer and their premiums. If your group has a high incidence of non-emergency emergency room visits, they could choose to raise their rates for your group during the next plan year. This means everyone in the group suffers the costs incurred by other members.

    4. ER Expenses May Include Third-party Vendors

    Emergency rooms usually bill separate charges for each specialist who treats you, lab work, tests, equipment, medicine, etc. Lab results must read and given. There could be an ambulance bill if you rode in one.

    Co-pays for a convenience care facility usually include all expenses for services and supplies delivered on the premise such as lab work, x-rays, stitches, and casts. This saves everyone money and precious time as urgent, non-life threatening medical attention is delivered away from more serious needs of necessary ER care.

    5. More Affordable Options Are Available

    Why spend hours waiting for medical care when you could be seen in minutes? For routine medical attention or urgent, non-emergency care, you may appreciate the convenience of being able to talk to a doctor online. Imagine the ease and privacy of being seen virtually on demand. Today you can video chat, telephone or email 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Affordable convenience care options like this saves you money and preserves your peace of mind when you need non-emergency care quickly.

    As more insurance companies are offering coverage for online doctor visits, it would be worth it to check with your carrier now to see if you may be covered. Covered or not, next time you need urgent but non-emergency medical care, consider using one of these more affordable alternatives to an ER visit.