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What exactly is an urgent care center?

Urgent care centers provide immediate treatment for minor and moderate illnesses and injuries, usually with no appointment needed. Urgent care centers treat conditions from sinusitis and pneumonia to lacerations and fractures. Most urgent care centers are open 7 days a week and offer evening hours.

What’s the difference between emergency rooms and urgent care?

Emergency rooms (ERs) provide vital treatment for patients with life-threatening illnesses and injuries. They are staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They can be expensive and may have long waits for less critical treatment.

Urgent care centers are different. They provide medical treatment for minor and moderate illnesses and injuries, usually with no appointment needed. While many urgent care centers are open daily and have evening hours, most close at night. They are often less expensive than emergency rooms and can have shorter waiting times.

When should I visit an urgent care center?

Urgent care is a great choice if you have a non-life-threatening illness or injury needing immediate treatment. You’ll receive direct attention from doctors, nurses and other qualified medical professionals.

Using an ER for minor and moderate conditions may not be advisable. An ER can be expensive, and you may experience long waits for less critical treatment. A primary care physician can be another option. However, your doctor’s office may not be open daily with extended hours or offer on-site diagnostic tests.

Does my Humana insurance cover an urgent care visit?

To confirm if your Humana coverage includes an urgent care benefit, please review your plan information.

If you’re not a Humana member, please refer to your plan information for additional details.

If you don’t have medical coverage, some urgent care locations offer discounts or savings on select services. Contact an urgent care center in your area to learn more.

Urgent care vs. emergency room

If you need medical care fast, deciding between going to an urgent care clinic or the hospital emergency room may be difficult.

Here’s some information to help you understand the types of medical conditions each facility can treat.

When to go to urgent care

Urgent care can be a great alternative to an ER for certain types of illnesses and injuries. Here are some of the conditions that urgent care is designed to treat:

  • Fevers, colds and flu
  • Cuts that need suturing
  • A minor to moderate illness or injury that requires X-rays or laboratory tests
  • Broken bones that need setting and casting
  • Sprains and strains
  • Other general cuts and injuries

Services may vary by location.

When to go to the ER

Generally, you should call 911 or go to the Emergency Room for the following type of symptoms or any symptom that you feel may represent a threat to your life or limbs:

  • Open or angulated fractures
  • Falls from greater than 7 feet
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Pregnancy bleeding or complications
  • Life-threatening allergic reactions
  • Severe burns, choking or abdominal pain
  • Signs or symptoms of stroke or heart attack

Find an urgent care center near you

Illness and injury can strike without warning. When you need immediate treatment, you should know what to do and where to go. Follow these easy steps to get the quality care you need at the right time, place and cost:

  1. Know your benefits—If you have health benefits, learn what your policy covers and the cost of various services. Some medical coverage offers a lower out-of-pocket cost for urgent care visits. Some Humana plans may offer lower copays for the same services at urgent care centers than an ER.
  2. Know where to go—It makes sense to be prepared in advance for your urgent medical care needs. Take a few minutes now and use our Find a Doctor tool to locate urgent care services close to your home and workplace.

If you need help with your search, try these tips on how to use the Find a doctor tool, PDF.

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