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Where to go for care

September 2022

Know before you go – Brush up on care options before you need them

Getting the right care at the right place and the right time is good for your health; and it can save you time and money. Get to know your care options in the Kansas City metro before you need them. Where you go depends on the nature and severity of your condition.

  • Primary Care is the best option for annual preventive care visits, diagnostics, management of chronic conditions, and sick care needs.

    Spira Care Centers provide no-additional-cost primary care. If you are enrolled in a Blue KC Individual and Family Plan with exclusive access to Spira Care, visit a Spira Care Center for your family’s advanced primary care needs at no additional cost. Eligible members can see a member of a Spira Care Team (including doctors, physicians assistants and behavioral health consultants) in person, by phone, or a video visit. Call 913-29-SPIRA (77472) to talk about the type of appointment that works best for you – including same- and next-day appointments for sick care needs and injuries.
  • Virtual Care is a good option for minor issues like a cold, flu, or pink eye, or if you need care at night, on the weekend, or when your doctor is not available. Download the MyBlueKC app on Google Play or the App Store, or visit for more information.
  • Retail Health Clinics can be used to treat minor, uncomplicated illness or injury, when you cannot wait for an appointment with your primary care doctor.
  • Urgent Care can be used for non-life-threatening injuries or illnesses that require immediate care, such as ear pain, persistent diarrhea, sprain, or a shallow cut.
  • Emergency Rooms or Community Hospitals should be used when you have an immediate care need for a severe and life-threatening emergency. It is important to know that for less severe injuries or illnesses, the ER can be expensive and wait times can be long. The ER should be used for true emergencies – not for treating conditions like upper respiratory infections, urinary tract infections, headaches, back pain, toothaches, and sinus infections.

Understand your coverage and read your health plan’s summary to understand what is covered so you are aware of potential out-of-pocket costs, including premiums, copayments, and deductibles. It is also important to identify your go-to resources and care options – including what is close to your home, work, or school. As you take greater interest in your health care decisions and costs, understanding care options can be important to get the right care at the right place and the right time.

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