When and where to get the right kind of convenient care

When you come down with the flu or a cold, you need care right away to get back on your feet. But needing care right away doesn’t always mean heading straight to urgent care or the emergency room.

So how do you know where to go when you need care right away but it’s not an emergency? When is your condition serious for the urgent care or ER? What are the most cost efficient options?

It’s important to use your best judgement when choosing what the appropriate type of care is.

For most issues or concerns, see your doctor

Your primary care provider (PCP) knows your health history and is the best place to start when you’re sick or need care - call your doctor first.

If your doctor can’t schedule you for an appointment or is unavailable, virtual care is a great next option.

The convenience of virtual care: ready when you need it

Virtual care is a convenient way to get care for a variety of things without having to leave your couch, cubicle or dorm room.

You can connect with a provider 24/7 through your phone, tablet or computer for care when and where you need it.

Virtual care can be used to treat things like:

  • Allergies, bites and stings
  • Back pain
  • Sore throat
  • Cold, cough and flu
  • Diarrhea and heartburn
  • Ear ache
  • Fever and headache
  • Pink eye, rashes and hives
  • Sprains and strains

How to get virtual care

Check with your doctor's office to see if they offer a virtual care option. You can also log in to your MyHealth account to schedule a virtual visit with MedNow or call 844.322.7374 to get started.

Urgent care for non-life-threatening health issues

Think of urgent care like this: if you have an illness or injury that isn’t life-threatening but can’t wait until you can see your doctor to be treated, go to an urgent care center. Urgent care centers are not the hospital emergency room (ER). You can go to the urgent care clinic when you experience:

  • Minor broken bones and fractures in fingers or toes
  • Sprains and strains
  • X-rays and lab tests
  • Severe sore throat or cough
  • Back pain
  • Stomachache
  • Vomiting, diarrhea or dehydration
  • Urinary tract infection

Go to the ER or dial 911 for life-threatening emergencies

When you have a life-threatening emergency, most likely, you will know it. That’s when you call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room as soon as possible. The emergency room is for serious issues that may cause death or injury if not treated right away. Things like:

  • Coughing or throwing up blood
  • Chest pain
  • Bleeding that won’t stop
  • Poisoning or drug overdose
  • Seizure
  • Slurred speech
  • Broken bones
  • Severe stomach pain
  • Pain in the chest or one arm

If you are unable to get to the ER, please call 911 immediately.

Make sure to check that your provider is in-network using our Find a Doctor tool. You can search for doctors, hospitals, emergency departments, urgent care centers, clinic, labs and more.