Some decisions are straightforward like, if your car needs repairs, you go to the mechanic. If you need a haircut, you go to a hair salon. But when it comes to healthcare, the choice is not always so clear.
When you’re feeling sick or are injured, there are several key places you can go for medical care: a doctor’s office, an urgent care center, a retail health clinic or the emergency room. Here’s a quick guide to help you know where to go, based on the urgency of your ailment and your budget.
Doctor’s Office: Your primary care doctor should be your first call in non-emergency situations. Your doctor knows you and your health history, including what medications you are taking and what chronic conditions might need to be considered in your treatment. Plus, the co-pay for a visit to your doctor’s office will cost far less than a trip to the emergency room.
This option can also help you avoid the long wait times typically found in an emergency room. Even if your doctor is unavailable or not an expert in the area of care you need, he or she can refer you to a specialist or another medical professional.
Urgent Care Center or Retail Health Clinic: If you can’t reach your doctor or need care outside of regular office hours, urgent care centers and retail health clinics are good options. Retail health clinics are walk-in clinics found in many large pharmacies and retail stores. They are staffed by nurse practitioners and physician assistants and are designed to treat simple conditions, like cold and flu, ear infections and skin conditions. Urgent care centers have physicians on staff and can provide care for a greater range of conditions, including performing x-rays.
Emergency Room: Emergency rooms are designed to treat urgent, acute and life threatening conditions and aren’t the place for routine care or minor ailments. If you feel you are dealing with a health emergency, call 911 or go to the emergency room right away. Otherwise, one of the above options will save you time and money, and clear the way for patients in need of emergency treatment.
Cosmo Insurance Agency is an independent insurance agency serving surrounding communities in New Jersey. Cosmo keeps its promise to assure an efficient and creative approach to the services we offer. Each of our clients experience a personalized and long-term relationship with us. Our New Jersey based team of health brokers guides our clients in helping them choose the most cost-effective options. By incorporating the latest in technology-based tools and laws on healthcare, employee benefits, life insurance and finance, we keep our clients up-to-date with the plans that encompass all of their needs, whether it is individual or group insurance.
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