Use the ER Wisely

Use the Emergency Room for True Emergencies

Most of us have a “get-it-now” mentality. But when it comes to healthcare, that mindset can cost you extra money, especially when using the emergency room (ER) for routine care, such as a cold or flu, earache or sore throat. ERs are designed when life-or-limb-saving care is needed immediately. Here is a partial list of true medical emergencies:

  • Ongoing chest pain, especially if it goes down your arm or to your jaw or is accompanied by sweating, vomiting or shortness of breath
  • Persistent shortness of breath or wheezing
  • Severe pain, particularly in the abdomen or starting halfway down the back
  • Loss of balance or fainting
  • Difficulty speaking, altered mental status or confusion
  • Weakness or paralysis
  • Severe heart palpitations
  • Sudden, severe headache
  • Sudden testicular pain and swelling
  • Newborn baby with a fever
  • Intestinal bleeding
  • Falls with injury or while taking blood thinning medications
  • Loss of vision
  • Head and eye injuries
  • Broken bones or dislocated joints
  • Deep cuts that require stitches – especially on the face
  • Head or eye injuries
  • Severe flu or cold symptoms
  • High fevers or fevers with rash
  • Bleeding that won’t stop or a large open wound
  • Vaginal bleeding with pregnancy
  • Repeated vomiting
  • Serious burns
  • Seizures without a previous diagnosis of epilepsy
Your Cost for Using the ER

How much you pay to use the ER depends on your specific plan’s cost-share arrangement and where you are in meeting your annual deductible. You will be responsible for any of your deductible you have not yet met, a significant copay amount (from $250 to $500) and your coinsurance. These costs are waived if you are admitted into the hospital. Check your CoOportunity Health member ID Card to determine your cost-share arrangement.

Other Options for After-Hours Non-Emergencies

Many areas have urgent-care clinics to treat health issues when the doctor’s office is closed or doesn’t have any available appointments. Urgent-care clinics are walk-in clinics that can handle conditions that need to be treated right away but aren’t emergencies. Some symptoms that can be treated at urgent-care clinics include:

  • Fevers without rash
  • Sprains
  • Painful urination
  • Persistent diarrhea
  • Severe sore throats
  • Vomiting
CareLine ? 24/6

Call 24 hours a day, seven days a week for help with health issues or questions.




Enter your email address below to get Email Updates: