Should you go to the ER?

Hospital emergency rooms (ERs) are staffed to focus on medical emergencies.
ERs are not staffed to focus on minor injuries, illness or routine health care. If you go to the ER for a problem that is not an emergency, you may spend a lot more time in the ER than you would at a doctor’s office, walk-in clinic or urgent care facility and it will cost more than it would at another facility.

  Typical Cost
Doctor’s Office $
Retail Health Clinic $
Urgent Care Facility $$
Emergency Room $$$$

Know your ER alternatives before you need them!
Talk with your provider. Find out if he or she has extended hours and ask for recommendations for an ER alternative located near you and your family. Planning ahead and deciding where to go can save you money and time.



The percentage of the bill you pay after your deductible has been met.


A fixed amount you pay when you get a covered health service.

Tiered benefit plan

A health care plan featuring multiple levels of benefits based on the network status of a particular provider. 


The annual amount you pay for covered health services before your insurance begins to pay.

emergency care services

Any covered services received in a hospital emergency room setting.


Includes behavioral health treatment, counseling, and psychotherapy

in-network provider

A provider contracted by your insurance company to accept an agreed upon payment for covered services. 

OUT-OF-network provider

A term for providers that aren’t contracting with your insurance company. (Your out-of-pocket costs will tend to be more expensive if you go to an out-of-network provider.)


Your expenses for medical care that aren’t reimbursed by insurance, including deductibles, coinsurance and co-payments.


If you can afford health insurance, but choose not to buy it, you must have a health coverage exemption or pay a tax penalty on your federal income tax return.


The amount you pay to your health insurance company each month. 

Preventive services

Health care services that focus on the prevention of disease and health maintenance.


Services and devices to help you recover if you are injured or have surgery. This includes physical, occupational and speech therapy.

special enrollment period

The time after the Open Enrollment Period when you can still purchase health insurance only if you have a qualifying life event (losing other health coverage, having a baby, getting married, moving).


A physician who has a majority of his or her practice in fields other than internal or general medicine, obstetrics/gynecology, pediatrics or family practice.