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Emergency Rooms aren’t known for being especially cost effective. Many people are without health care insurance or have insurance but still need to do their best to avoid the ER costs that are still astronomical after their insurance pays. Let’s look at a few ways to try and avoid those hefty ER bills.

Urgent Care facilities usually take both insured and self-pay patients and have much lower cost services. If your illness or injury isn’t a true emergency and you are able to wait, this is the better choice and can save hundreds of dollars. Check with your insurance to see if there is a covered facility nearby or you can always do a search for one. By simply typing in something like urgent care tustin ca (or any city/state combination) can get you results quickly. If you do use the search engine route to find a facility, make sure to give them a quick call to verify that they will accept your insurance. 

Walk-In clinics are similar to an Urgent Care in that they are much more cost effective. This also may be an alternative to an Urgent Care for some because the copay for a walk-in clinic may be cheaper, it all depends on your insurance. Walk-in clinics are not usually set up to do things like x-rays and will still refer you to an ER if they are not equipped to handle your illness or injury so keep that in mind to avoid paying a copay for both. Don’t hesitate to call the Walk-in clinic if you have a question about their ability to treat. Both Urgent Care and Walk-in clinics can also save you a lot of time since Emergency Rooms are not known for their fast service.

More and more people are now considering alternative treatments as well. Things like essential oils and chiropractic care are becoming more and more popular. There are many different EO companies with a wealth of information about treating minor illnesses and preventative care. Take care to research any companies to verify purity of product and avoid “pyramid scheme” type organizations. There is a wealth of information about different types of EOs and EO companies online and in various social media groups. Chiropractic care is also more cost effective than an ER for more simple ailments like muscle strain. Many of these clinics accept insurance or have very low cost self-pay plans. 

There is also a large movement promoting natural home remedies. Simple illnesses may not necessarily need an antibiotic and can be cured using natural remedies like steam baths or saline rinse for sinus drainage or yogurt for yeast. Again, there is a wealth of information online but be sure to use caution and common sense when looking into home remedies. 

Sometimes a visit to the Emergency Room is unavoidable but, if you look into other options, you may save yourself a decent amount of both time and money. As always, do not hesitate to call 911 if you or anyone else has a true, life threatening emergency!

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