Even when immediate care centers are not a new invention, they have certainly developed a lot since their early beginnings back in the 90s. At first, insurance companies ignored their existence completely. So much so, that many ebbing facilities soon went out of business. It was natural that this should happen. After all, without any level of support from insurers, they did not stand a chance. However, many of them did survive against all odds.
Faster, swifter Service
These days, not only have immediate care centers set a new standard for urgent medical attention, but they have also become a flourishing business many larger health providers are turning to. Why did the scenario change so dramatically, just in a few years? To begin with, insurance companies started to accept immediate care center charges more readily. This would mark the beginning of a new story. In addition, urgent care centers became more and more popular. Suddenly, thousands of these centers were sweeping the country offering their first-class, walk-in urgent care attention. Search in any state and you will find a wide array of immediate care centers spread all over. To find out more about Treasure Coast Urgent & Family Care in Port St. Lucie for instance, click here.
Cost-Effective Immediate Care Service
If compared with other types of medical service charges, immediate care services are much more affordable. By definition, immediate care centers are freestanding, medical facilities that offer urgent care without requesting patients to ask for appointments. Of course, they differ from emergency rooms in the sense that they can deal with none-life threatening situations only. If your case falls under the category of life-threatening emergency, then the only place you could go is to an ER. Having said this, we should also state that it is a well-known fact that ERs have been abused for decades. Since a large percentage of patients waiting in ER waiting rooms should not be there in the first place, insurers have been turning to urgent care centers in their quest to lower down costs. On average, we can say that immediate care centers are less costly than ERs. However, the exact percentage is difficult to pinpoint exactly. In general terms, a visit to an urgent care center will cost anywhere from $71 to $125 whereas a visit to an ER for a common illness will cost about $570.
How much do Health Insurance Companies Cover?
This would depend on several factors, such as the insurer and the type of agreement they have with the immediate care center. Some insurance companies are running their own urgent care facilities, in which coverage is more significant. If we were to work out an estimate, we would say that with most private health insurance plans, patients are requested to cover their services with co-pays averaging something between $25 and $50 per visit. If compared with the costs of ER services, the cost is evidently much lower.
In all, health insurers do cover a percentage of the costs of immediate care. However, these costs vary according to each health insurance company.