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How Much Does Urgent Care Cost Without Insurance?

Key Points

  • For individuals without health insurance, the average trip to urgent care can cost anywhere from $150 to $200.
  • The actual cost of an urgent care visit can be difficult to pinpoint because each clinic charges different prices based on the services you need.
  • Before you head to urgent care for a non-emergency injury or illness, it is perfectly acceptable to contact the center and ask questions to get a better idea of how much the visit will cost.

When you have a pressing medical issue and need to see a doctor as soon as possible, getting an appointment with your preferred provider can be difficult. That’s especially true if you need medical care during off-hours on the weekend or after your doctor’s office has closed for the day.

You don’t need to have an appointment to see a doctor at an urgent care center. Urgent care clinics offer the care you need when you need it at a price that is usually more affordable than a visit to the emergency room. However, if you don’t have health insurance, that urgent care visit can still be kind of pricey. Based on data collected for Solv ClearPriceTM, for individuals without health insurance, the national average for a base visit to an urgent care can cost about $150. Based on the specific services you need and the severity of your injury or illness (as well as the location of the clinic), that price could increase to $350+ in total. That’s still cheaper than an emergency room visit, which costs about $2,000 on average, according to data from the Mayo Clinic.

How Much Does Urgent Care Cost Without Insurance?

Key Points

  • For individuals without health insurance, the average trip to urgent care can cost anywhere from $150 to $200.
  • The actual cost of an urgent care visit can be difficult to pinpoint because each clinic charges different prices based on the services you need.
  • Before you head to urgent care for a non-emergency injury or illness, it is perfectly acceptable to contact the center and ask questions to get a better idea of how much the visit will cost.

When you have a pressing medical issue and need to see a doctor as soon as possible, getting an appointment with your preferred provider can be difficult. That’s especially true if you need medical care during off-hours on the weekend or after your doctor’s office has closed for the day.

You don’t need to have an appointment to see a doctor at an urgent care center. Urgent care clinics offer the care you need when you need it at a price that is usually more affordable than a visit to the emergency room. However, if you don’t have health insurance, that urgent care visit can still be kind of pricey. Based on data collected for Solv ClearPriceTM, for individuals without health insurance, the national average for a base visit to an urgent care can cost about $150. Based on the specific services you need and the severity of your injury or illness (as well as the location of the clinic), that price could increase to $350+ in total. That’s still cheaper than an emergency room visit, which costs about $2,000 on average, according to data from the Mayo Clinic.

What factors impact the cost of urgent care?

The actual cost of an urgent care visit can be difficult to pinpoint because each clinic charges different prices based on the services you need. Here are a few of the main factors affecting your urgent care costs, based on internal Solv research.

The cost for an office visit

You are charged an office visit fee just for just seeing the provider. This fee costs around $100, and it doesn’t include any tests, X-rays, medications, or procedures you receive during your visit. For example, the national average cost for an X-ray at an urgent care center is about $253, and that is on top of what you’d pay for the office visit.

The urgent care center location

Where an urgent care facility is located also has an impact on your cost for treatment. For example, the $189 you’ll pay out-of-pocket for an urgent care base visit in New York City is more than the $166 cost at a Chicago-area clinic, according to data from Solv ClearPriceTM.

The level of care

The cost you’re charged at an urgent care clinic is typically divided into different levels of care. Standard care visits for minor problems like an earache are considered a level 1 or level 2 visit and would be on the lower-cost end of services. But if you break a bone, require stitches, or have a more severe medical issue, that would be considered a level 3 or 4 visit, notes the Mayo Clinic.

When should I go to urgent care?

Urgent care clinics are for people with a medical concern that is urgent but not necessarily an emergency. According to Solv’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Rob Rohatsch, these non-emergency conditions can include:

  • Cuts, minor burns, and rashes
  • Fever, cough, and sore throat
  • Ear infection
  • Insect or animal bites
  • Allergies
  • Mild asthma
  • Immunizations & vaccines
  • Falls, sprains, and broken bones

Some urgent care facilities offer limited lab tests, including:

When should I go to an emergency room instead of urgent care?

If you experience a medical condition that could be life-threatening, you should go immediately to an emergency room for care. Urgent care clinics aren’t equipped to handle severe medical conditions like heart attacks, severe asthma attacks, or significant illnesses. In some cases, if you go to an urgent care clinic and the healthcare professionals there determine that you need more specialized care, they will refer or transfer you to an emergency room.

While cost should never be something that prevents you from getting the care you need, you should keep in mind that a visit to the emergency room is going to cost you quite a bit more than urgent care. For example, if you go to an emergency room for treatment for strep throat, you could pay as much as five times what you would for treatment at an urgent care facility. According to Consumer Health ratings, as of 2019 an average ER visit for insured patients cost $1,082 while $1,220 for uninsured patients. According to national data from Solv ClearPriceTM, for individuals without health insurance, the average cost of an urgent care base visit is only $150.

Why is an emergency room more expensive? Generally, emergency rooms have a lot of overhead, and those costs get passed down to the patients. Additionally, in an emergency room visit, you may be charged a facility fee or emergency room fee, on top of what you pay for the medical care you receive.

How can I reduce the out-of-pocket cost for urgent care?

You are the best advocate for your care and finances, so before you head to urgent care for a non-emergency injury or illness, it is perfectly acceptable to contact the center and ask questions to get a better idea of how much the visit will cost. Calling ahead can also help you determine if you need to go to urgent care or if your medical condition can be addressed in a telemedicine appointment.

You should also ask the urgent care clinic staff if they offer special pricing for patients without health insurance. Some centers do offer discounts for uninsured patients. Other questions to ask are:

  • How much is the office visit fee?
  • What additional expenses will I be charged?
  • Do you think I will I require tests and, if so, what is the cost?
  • Do you think I will I need an X-ray and, if so, what is the price?
  • What is the price for prescriptions?

You can get a better idea of what you’ll be charged for an urgent care visit using Solv ClearPriceTM online tool. This tool can help you save money on healthcare even if you have health insurance because it gives you an idea of the average “self-pay” rates at a clinic. A growing number of urgent care clinics offer discounts for patients who “self-pay” or forego their insurance and pay cash for medical treatment. For example, the average self-pay cost for stitches in Madison, Wisconsin, is approximately $358, according to Solv ClearPriceTM.

How Solv can help you find an urgent care clinic near you.

If you have a non-emergency medical condition and are looking for an urgent care clinic to get treatment, Solv can help. Our lab finder can help you find an urgent care clinic near you.

As a Solv Plus member, you’ll also get access to virtual medical providers who are available to you in as little as 15 minutes or less of your inquiry. Solv’s telehealth services providers can help you assess your injury or illness to determine if you need to go to an urgent care clinic and then get you connected with referrals and follow-up appointments.


Sources

Solv has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We avoid using tertiary references.

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