Valdosta Daily Times

Business

September 29, 2013

Don’t let the emergency room bill give you a heart attack

Trust me, you don’t want to go back!

(Continued)

-- — 4. An ambulance ride will not get you the red-carpet treatment

Some people think that if they call 911 and ride to the ER in an ambulance, that they will be seen immediately and not have to wait for hours. Newsflash, you will get triaged just like everyone else and if you’re not that sick or injured, you’re going to wait regardless. All you’re doing with that fancy, unnecessary ambulance ride is costing yourself more money. Ambulance rides usually cost somewhere between $400 and $1,200. Even if you have health insurance, it will cost you money. For example, some insurance only pays 80 percent of the cost, and only if you have met your deductible. Otherwise, you’re going to pay 100 percent of the bill.

5. If possible, go to an urgent-care facility

Sometimes, life throws you circumstances that cannot avoid the emergency room. However, if your matter is not life threatening, you are going to come out way cheaper at an urgent care facility. For example, debt.org gathered a list of estimated costs for the nine most common reasons people visit the ER. The data was from claims submitted in 2010 to the Medical Choice Network, a system of more than 4,000 medical offices, clinics and hospitals across the Midwestern U.S.

The study showed that a urinary tract infection costs $665 at the ER and only $110 at an urgent-care center. Have a sore throat? At an ER, that will cost $525, but at an urgent-care center, only $94. Let’s say your kid has pink eye. At the ER, that will cost you $370, but at an urgent-care facility, only $102. Bottom line, urgent care is substantially cheaper.

Well my dear budgeteers, hopefully you don’t have to use any of these tips anytime soon, but it never hurts to be prepared! Don’t forget to like me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BrittanyDenneyMcClure and follow me on Twitter @BudgetBrittany.

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