Emergency Room / Community Hospital- Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City Skip to main content

Emergency Room/Community Hospital

Immediate care for severe and life-threatening emergencies.

Important: For less severe injuries or illnesses, the ER can be expensive and wait times can average over 4 hours. The ER is for true emergencies – not for treating things like upper respiratory infections, UTI’s, headaches, back pain, toothache and sinus infections.

* Note: Smaller community/neighborhood hospitals are becoming more common, and they may advertise both “emergency” and “urgent” care. However, please note, emergency room rates are generally charged for any type of visit at these facilities.



Expected Wait Time


Average Cost


Typical hours 24/7/365

When to Go

  • All life-threatening emergencies
  • When you’re experiencing chest pain
  • When you’ve experienced a head trauma
  • When you’re having difficulty breathing
  • For sudden numbness, weakness or speech difficulty
  • For severe belly pain
  • For uncontrolled bleeding
  • If you’re having a mental crisis

Average cost assumes in-network services.

Learn About Your Care Options

Use the care guide below to learn more about your options when it comes to getting care.

Low Cost, Moderate Severity

Your doctor manages your overall health and should coordinate all the care you receive. It’s always a good idea to consult with him or her before seeking care anywhere else.

Moderate Cost, Low Severity

Have a video visit with a doctor or behavioral health therapist right from the comfort of home. All you need is a smartphone, tablet or computer – and the Blue KC Virtual Care app or BlueKCVirtualCare.com.

Moderate Cost, Low Severity

Retail health clinics are typically staffed by certified nurse practitioners and physician’s assistants to handle minor care concerns at your convenience.

Moderate Cost, Moderate Severity

When your doctor’s office is closed, urgent care doctors and nurses can fill the gap for non life-threatening conditions. Your wait time will be shorter than going to an emergency room.

High Cost, High Severity

Always go to the ER if your health is in danger or call 911! However, for less severe injuries or illnesses, the ER can be expensive and wait times can average over 4 hours.

Where to go for care

Need Help On Where to Go For Care?

Call Blue KC Customer Service at the number on your member ID card for assistance.