Book an appointment Feather-communication-phone
How Much Does Urgent Care Cost?

Blog Urgent Care

How Much Does Urgent Care Cost?

writtenByWritten by: Christina Wedberg
Christina Wedberg

Christina Wedberg

Christina has been a writer since 2010 and has an M.F.A. from The New School for Social Research. Christina specializes in writing about health issues and education.

Read more posts by this author.

February 4, 2021 Read Time - 6 minutes

What is the Cost of Urgent Care?

The average cost of an urgent care visit is approximately $150 to be treated for the most common illnesses (such as an ear infection, urinary tract infection, or pharyngitis). The actual cost will vary, depending on your illness or injury and any extra treatment that is required, such as x-rays or blood tests.

Urgent Care Cost By Condition

ConditionUrgent Care CostPlushCare Cost (Insured Patient)PlushCare Cost (Uninsured Patient)
Allergies$100$22$99
Acute Bronchitis$127$22$99
Earache$110$22$99
Sore Throat$100$22$99
Pink Eye$102$22$99
Sinus Infection$112$22$99
Strep Throat$111$22$99
Urinary Tract Infection$112$22$99
  • Book on our free mobile app or website.

    Our doctors operate in all 50 states and same day appointments are available every 15 minutes.

  • See a doctor, get treatment and a prescription at your local pharmacy.

  • Use your health insurance just like you normally would to see your doctor.

PlushCare-App-Steps

How Much Does Urgent Care Cost Without Insurance?

The cost of urgent care without insurance varies based on the treatment you need. The average cost of an urgent care visit without insurance is about $150. Most urgent care clinics post a list of fees for common treatments to inform patients how much they will need to pay. Patients typically must pay upfront for urgent care treatment.

At PlushCare, patients without insurance pay $99 per virtual urgent care appointment, which is often less than what you might pay during an in-person care visit.

When is Urgent Care Covered by Insurance?

Typically, most insurance providers cover urgent care, but require you to pay a co-payment or a deductible. Each insurance provider determines the amount of healthcare coverage it will provide for urgent care services.

On occasion, an urgent care may choose not to accept certain insurance providers, even if you are covered. It’s advisable to call ahead and confirm that an urgent care center will accept your specific insurance plan.

At PlushCare, an online urgent care appointment costs an average of $22 for insured patients, an amount similar to what their in-person co-pay would be.

How Much Does Insurance Pay for Urgent Care?

A patient who is treated at an urgent care center will commonly be charged a $20 to $40 co-payment for routine, in-network care. With routine, out-of-network care, the co-payment may range from $35 to $100, depending on the urgent care center. If you still owe money after your treatment, your insurance company will bill you for the outstanding amount.

Is Your Co-Pay Higher for Urgent Care?

Maybe. Some insurance companies may charge you a higher co-pay if you go to an urgent care center rather than your primary care provider. This may be because urgent care centers carry a higher overhead cost than a regular physician’s office.

Most primary care providers and other doctors can set appointments ahead of time and plan their schedule so they know what medical supplies they may need in advance. But an urgent care center needs to be prepared for a number of unexpected medical scenarios at any given time.

Additionally, urgent care centers routinely require diagnostic testing and lab work for their patients, which adds to their expenses. These extra costs lead most insurance companies to base your co-pay on the average estimated cost of each visit, which likely costs more than a routine visit to your regular physician.

What Factors Affect the Cost of an Urgent Care Visit?

Although the price of urgent care varies, factors that help determine your out-of-pocket cost for an urgent care visit include:

  • Whether you have health insurance coverage
  • The extent of treatment required for the illness or injury
  • Your health plan’s co-pay and/or remaining deductible
  • Whether urgent care center is in-network or out-of-network

How Much Does Going to the Emergency Room Cost?

Even though the cost of an urgent care center may be somewhat more than going to your regular doctor, it should be noted that it’s still less expensive than going to the emergency room.

Emergency rooms at a hospital have an extremely large overhead cost, and your payment could be anywhere from $150 to $3,000, depending on your medical condition and the treatment required. Emergency rooms must also keep a staff of doctors, nurses, and surgeons on call, and keep medical supplies in stock as well as maintain their specialized equipment for diagnosis and treatment.

What Services Does Urgent Care Provide?

Urgent care centers typically provide medical treatment for non-life-threatening illnesses and injuries. Conditions treated at urgent care may include:

  • Allergic reactions
  • Animal and bug bites
  • Ear infections
  • Cuts and burns
  • Strep throat
  • Colds and flus
  • Asthma
  • Pink eye
  • Bronchitis
  • Sinus infections
  • Urinary tract infections (UTIs)
  • Broken bones, sprains, and strains

What Lab Services Does Urgent Care Provide?

Urgent care centers commonly provide many types of lab services that aid in the treatment and diagnoses of patients. These lab services are very similar to what you would find at an emergency room or your regular provider’s office.

Some urgent care lab services may include:

  • Strep test
  • Drug testing and screening
  • Blood tests such as complete blood counts (CBC), basic and complete metabolic panels, and blood glucose
  • Pregnancy testing
  • Flu and rapid flu tests
  • STD testing
  • Urinalysis
  • Electrolyte testing
  • Fecal blood occult
  • Preventative treatment

Urgent Care and Preventative Care Services

Urgent care centers also typically offer routine preventative treatment for their patients. These routine services may include:

  • Drug screening
  • Well baby checks
  • Flu shots
  • Physicals for school, sports, summer camp, or annual check ups
  • Vaccinations
  • Gynecological exams

The medical staff at urgent care clinics are dedicated to giving you the best treatment possible. This may sometimes include any necessary urgent treatment, such as starting an IV, taking x-rays, or offering medication on-site. After your treatment and diagnosis, your doctor may offer you a prescription for medications you’ll require for your condition.

When to Go to an Urgent Care Center

If you suffer from an accident or are ill, you may wonder if it’s appropriate to go to an urgent care center, especially if it is after hours or on a weekend. If you experience any of the following symptoms, it may be time to consider going to an urgent care center to get treatment:

  • Sore throat that doesn’t go away
  • Headache
  • Coughing, sneezing, or wheezing
  • Body aches or muscle aches
  • Fever
  • Nausea, diarrhea or vomiting
  • Rashes or itching that won’t go away
  • Unexplained pain or swelling
  • Sprains or strains

If you have a severe, serious, or life-threatening injury or illness, you should not go to urgent care, and should instead go to the emergency room (ER) for treatment.

  • Book on our free mobile app or website.

    Our doctors operate in all 50 states and same day appointments are available every 15 minutes.

  • See a doctor, get treatment and a prescription at your local pharmacy.

  • Use your health insurance just like you normally would to see your doctor.

PlushCare-App-Steps

Get Affordable Urgent Care Online

You can also get urgent care online via PlushCare. PlushCare connects you with top online doctors who give you a real-time video diagnosis and prescribe a treatment plan, including necessary medications.

Here is an overview of how online urgent care works at PlushCare:

  • You start by booking an appointment with one of our board-certified, licensed doctors, who graduated from the top 50 U.S. medical schools.
  • Then, your virtual urgent care visit with your PlushCare physician will take place through your smartphone or computer at the scheduled time.
  • The doctor will listen to you and determine your urgent care diagnosis. Your physician will provide you with an individualized care plan and a prescription for non-controlled substances, if necessary.

If the online doctor finds that you need to be seen in person, you will get your money back and they will refer you to the nearest urgent care center. Save yourself time and money and book an online appointment today.


Read More About Urgent Care


Sources:

PlushCare is dedicated to providing you with accurate and trustworthy health information.

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. Why Do People Choose Emergency and Urgent Care Services? A Rapid Review Utilizing a Systematic Literature Search and Narrative Synthesis. Accessed on February 4, 2021. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5599959/ 

pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. Comparing Utilization and Costs of Care in Freestanding Emergency Departments, Hospital Emergency Departments, and Urgent Care Centers. Accessed on February 4, 2021. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28262320/

Most PlushCare articles are reviewed by M.D.s, Ph.Ds, N.P.s, nutritionists and other healthcare professionals. Click here to learn more and meet some of the professionals behind our blog. The PlushCare blog, or any linked materials are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment. For more information click here.

Our commitment to you.

PlushCare is dedicated to providing you with accurate and trustworthy health information.

  • right Tick Image

    Research from sources you can trust

  • right Tick Image

    Medical reviews by field experts

  • right Tick Image

    Frequent content updates

More to learn.

Can Urgent Care Prescribe Medication?

Can Urgent Care Prescribe Medication?

Can You Get Prescription Medicine From Urgent Care? Yes, urgent care centers can prescribe medication. In fact, one of the…

Christina Wedberg 7 minutes
What is Urgent Care?

What is Urgent Care?

Urgent care treatment is for non-emergency medical issues that need timely care. You can go to urgent care visits without…

Sofie Wise 9 minutes
Food Poisoning Treatments

Food Poisoning Treatments

Food Poisoning Treatment and Prevention You’ve likely experienced food poisoning at some point in your life. Whether it was the…

Phoebe Byers 7 minutes