Lower Your Out-Of-Pocket Medical Cost By Choosing Care Options Wisely
Getting the right care at the right place and the right time is good for your health and can save you money. Learn about your care options – and what is near your home, office, and school – before you need it. Where you go depends on the nature and severity of your condition.
Urgent care versus emergency room. More than 80% of emergency room visits can be handled at an urgent care center and for a lower out-of-pocket cost. That’s because you’ll get just one bill per urgent care visit versus several bills for physicians and facility when you visit an emergency room. Urgent care centers generally have extended hours, offer x-ray, labs, and can treat small lacerations. There also are specialty urgent cares that treat orthopedic sprains and fractures.
Free standing imaging or infusion center versus hospital. When you need an MRI, CT scan, or drug infusion, use Find Care to find a free-standing center. Like urgent care centers, you’ll get just one bill when you use a free-standing imaging or infusion center versus several separate bills should you have these services at a hospital. Some specialty providers, such as gastroenterologists, rheumatologists, allergists, and pain management providers also do infusions in their offices.
Ambulatory surgical center (ASC) versus hospital. Save up to 40% when you use an ASC for a surgery or pain injection. Many procedures can be performed in an ASC, such as dental, bariatric, ENT, gastroenterology, orthopedic, gynecological, pain management, ophthalmological, plastic surgery, podiatry, neurological/spine, urological and vascular services. Ask your provider where they perform procedures and choose an ASC over a hospital.
Virtual care versus office visit. Virtual care is a good option when you need care at night, on a weekend, when you can’t leave home, are traveling, or when your doctor is not available. It’s available 24/7 and can be used for minor issues like upper respiratory infections, urinary tract infections, or the flu.
Take the lead in choosing your care options
Learn more about care options at Know Where To Go and by reading your health plan’s Summary of Benefits and Coverage. It includes potential out-of-pocket costs, premiums, copayments, and deductibles. It’s available on your member portal at MyBlueKC.com > Plan Benefits in the left column > Medical > Summary of Benefits.
*For eligible members.