You’re sitting around the campfire with your family, roasting marshmallows for s’mores, when your youngest daughter accidentally burns herself. It appears to be minor, but you want to get her relief — and fast. The only problem: Your regular doctor’s office isn’t open at this time of night.
Think your only option is the emergency room? Think again.
Know your options for care
Millions of Americans use emergency rooms for routine medical care, like treatment for strep throat, ankle sprains and more. Not only do they face long wait times for services, they also pay around 10 times more than they would have in a regular doctor’s office — for the same treatment. That’s why it’s important to know your options for care when deciding where to go.
Take a look at the easy-to-follow graphic below. This will help you know where to go for care, depending on your situation.
There are many places to go for care. Even though you might receive similar treatment at each location, your out-of-pocket costs will vary. Here's an easy way to determine what's best for you, depending on your situation. Consider the pharmacy for pain relief for minor burns, scrapes and other minor injuries. Here you can look for over-the-counter ointments, bandages and other first-aid supplies at a relatively low cost. It may cost you a little more, but you may need to go to your personal doctor's office. After all, they know you best. If your doctor is out, you can ask to see another doctor at that office. If you can't wait for an appointment, or if your doctor's office isn't open, seek care at a walk-in clinic. You may pay more than your personal doctor's office, but you can receive similar care. The emergency room is a more expensive option and should be reserved for life-threatening conditions, or any concern where you feel a delay in care (even if it's only a few hours) could negatively impact your health. Still not sure where to go? Call BeWell 24/7 at 844-84- day or night to receive an evaluation based on your symptoms and recommendations for where to go for care.
See a doctor within minutes
Need to get an expert opinion, and want to do it from the comfort and convenience of your own home? Download the Doctor On Demand External SiteTM app for a virtual visit option. With the app, you can see and talk with a board-certified doctor via your smartphone. Your virtual doctor can treat most common medical conditions, and even prescribe medication if needed.
A virtual visit through Doctor On Demand is a benefit covered by some Wellmark plans, but you can purchase a virtual visit without using your insurance information.
Away from home? You're still covered.
Figuring out where to go for care when you’re traveling or in an unfamiliar area can be stressful. Rest assured, your benefits work even when you’re away from home. Keep in mind that seeing a doctor that’s out of your network may mean you’re responsible for the full cost of your visit, except in the case of an emergency.
Choosing the best option
Luckily for you, there was a pharmacy just up the road from your campground with a pharmacist still on duty. He was able to look at your daughter’s hand and recommend a burn ointment to help soothe her skin and allow it to heal.
Choosing this option for care saved you the hours spent waiting in the emergency room as well as the expense for treatment.
Doctor On Demand physicians do not prescribe Drug Enforcement Administration-controlled substances, and may elect not to treat or prescribe other medications based on what is clinically appropriate.