During a medical emergency, a person needs to find the closest hospital. However, when there’s time to decide where to seek medical treatment, there are certain questions to ask. It may be better to consider these issues when well, so one is prepared if an emergency strikes. Below are some questions you can try here before heading to the emergency room.
Would an Urgent Care Facility be Better?
Urgent care clinics may be the right place to go if a person needs prompt attention for an illness or injury that’s not life-threatening, or they can’t see their primary doctor. Clinics see walk-in patients for minor injuries, and they typically have longer hours. Urgent care is cheaper than going to the hospital, and patients pay less than for an ER visit.
However, the ER is the place to go if doctors’ offices and urgent care facilities are closed, or if certain tests are indicated. Most urgent care facilities don’t have the same equipment found in ERs, and they aren’t usually equipped to handle major trauma. If a person isn’t sure which option to choose, some insurance plans have hotline numbers that allow patients to ask nurses about symptoms and courses of action.
Is the Nearest Hospital in the Right Insurance Network?
Under the ACA (Affordable Care Act), insurance plans must offer equal benefits regardless of whether a patient chooses an in- or out-of-network hospital. Insurance companies can’t charge higher copayments or require preapproval if emergency care is sought at a hospital outside the network.
However, patients should be aware that they may be “balance billed” if they choose an out-of-network provider. Balance billing is when a provider bills the patient for the difference between the amount paid by Health Insurance in Oklahoma City OK and the hospital’s charge.
Are Doctors and Other Care Providers In-Network?
A patient may get more than one bill from an ER trip: one from the ER doctor, one from the hospital and one from a laboratory. Even if a hospital is in a provider’s network, ER physicians and other providers such as anesthesiologists may not be. Doctors may charge more than the plan will pay, and patients may be liable for the balance.
One never knows when an emergency will happen, and certain steps should be taken before an emergency happens. When patients understand their Health Insurance in Oklahoma City OK, they can make more cost-effective healthcare choices. To know more visit www.cpcinsurance.com.