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Last Updated on March 14, 2018 by Diane Hoffmaster
This post about urgent care mistakes and the SingleCare card program has been sponsored by SingleCare. All opinions are my own.
I am one of the lucky people in this country who has a decent healthcare plan. However, even with good healthcare, I have spent my fair share of time in the urgent care clinic. Sometimes, I don't get sick between 9 AM and 5 PM. My kids don't CHOOSE to get a sinus infection on Saturday morning. While you may not be able to avoid the urgent care clinic completely, knowing a few of these common urgent care mistakes may make your trip easier. And with a SingleCare card, you may be able to avoid the urgent care clinic completely!
Most common causes of Urgent Care Clinic Visits
Rarely do people choose to go to the urgent care clinic for some minor health problem. Splinters or an ingrown thumb nail can usually wait until the doctor's office is open unless they are REALLY bad. Here are some of the most common causes of urgent care visits in the US.
- Upper respiratory infection (colds, flu, bronchitis, etc)
- Urinary tract infection (HORRID.... have had a few of these myself!)
- Injuries to joint and muscle (sprains, strains, breaks, etc)
Most people don't think that they have any control over their urgent care visit. They assume that they just go, sit in a waiting room for 3 hours, and come home with a prescription. Along with a hugely expensive bill to pay. Well, you have more control than you think.
Avoid the Urgent Care Clinic!
There are many reasons why people end up at the urgent care clinic, whether they are medical or logistical. That slightly blurry photo above was my son a few years ago during an after hours visit thanks to Swine Flu. My husband had the pleasure of taking him to that visit and he was less than thrilled about the entire procedure. Wouldn't it have been nice to AVOID the urgent care clinic completely? With SingleCare, that may be possible next time
How Single Care helps you avoid an Urgent Care Visit
SingleCare has an awesome way for you to possibly avoid heading to your closest urgent care clinic. If you have an account with SingleCare, you may be able to have an online appointment with a healthcare provider who can help diagnose and prescribe medications for common illnesses.
If you don't have a SingleCare membership, signing up for a SingleCare card and using the online doctor visit is easy. I love the idea of talking to a doctor online for minor illnesses rather than waiting in the often crowded and probably contaminated doctor waiting room! If you want to give this a try, all you have to do is follow three simple steps!
- STEP ONE Create your SingleCare account
- STEP TWO Log in to your video doctor visit experience
- STEP THREE Have your visit in minutes, and feel better
Some commonly treated conditions during video doctor visits include things like flu, fever, sinus infections, pink eye, sore throat, anxiety, travel medications, and so many more. You can skip the copay and wait times and get treated by a board-certified doctor in minutes from your own home.
The cost of a video care visit depends on the type of doctor you need speak with. A video visit with a board certified physician costs just $45 per visit. If you need a video counseling sessions with a Master's-level behavioral health professional, it costs $76. It is easy to sign up and much cheaper and more time friendly than most urgent care clinics.
Other Benefits of a SingleCare Card
SingleCare offers several benefits besides video doctor calls. Use your SingleCare card to save on prescriptions, dental, and vision coverage as well as video doctor visits. They may be able to save you up to 80% on prescriptions, which may even be a better deal than your regular prescription coverage.
One of the things I love about the SingleCare prescription program is that they have a flexible payment plan if your prescription is expensive. They have a new program that allows you to pay for your prescription over a period of 4, 8 or 12 weeks. Their pharmacy savings card is accepted nationwide at over 35,000 pharmacies, including Walmart, Walgreens, CVS, Rite Aid, and Kroger's.
Saving on prescriptions with SingleCare:
Using the SingleCare website is easy if you want to check prescription prices. Just type in your zip code and the medication you need. Their system will return several prices that you would pay at local pharmacies. Knowing what you would pay ahead of time, and finding the cheapest price, is a huge benefit when filling your prescription.
Urgent Care Mistakes to Avoid
If you have no other choice but to visit the after hours clinic or emergency room, be prepared. Here are a few mistakes people make when it comes to their visit to the urgent care clinic:
- Understand your insurance before you go: Sometimes, your copay will cost more money than a regular doctor's visit. However, even if it costs more than your doctor co pay, you will most likely save money when compared to going to the emergency room. Make sure you have a way to pay for your visit before you go.
- Ask questions before you sign in. Ask about how billing and payments are handled, how long the wait is, and anything else you will need to know before parking yourself in the chair. Make a note of the person you speak to regarding billing issues. If you get a bill that doesn't match up with what you were told, you need to be able to reference your source of information.
- Don't go if you don't have to. One of the biggest urgent care mistakes to avoid is going when you don't really have to. Have you lost your medication while traveling? You don't need to go to the urgent care clinic. Call your pharmacy and they will contact your doctor about calling in a refill to a nearby pharmacy. And with SingleCare video doctor visits, you may never need to visit an urgent care clinic again!
Have you made any urgent care mistakes that you want to share?
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Diane is a professional blogger and nationally certified pharmacy technician at Good Pill Pharmacy. She has two college aged kids, one husband and more pets than she will admit to. She earned her BS in Microbiology at the University of New Hampshire but left her career in science to become a stay at home mom. Years of playing with LEGO and coloring with crayons had her craving a more grown up purpose to her life and she began blogging and freelance writing full time. You can learn more about her HERE.