Flu season is upon us and with this dreaded virus often comes doctor appointments and medications. Unfortunately, medical treatments and expenses can really add up during flu season. And with the CDC showing that 5% to 20% of the U.S. population catches the flu each year, there's a good chance you or someone you know will catch this virus. So how can you save money on medical treatments and visits this season?
If you don't have a primary care physician or need medical treatment outside of regular office hours, urgent care centers make a great option. Urgent care clinics can treat most moderate flu symptoms, including a cough, congestion, sore throat, fatigue, and chills. Doctors at urgent cares can even prescribe medications so you can get the relief you need.
Unfortunately, many people make the mistake of thinking a trip to the emergency room is best when they have the flu. But did you know that studies have found that visiting the ER can cost up to two times as a trip to an urgent care center? Compared to the hefty bills that come after an ER visit, the average cost of an urgent care visit is only around $150.
Emergency room visits are so expensive that it's estimated that $18 million could be saved each year if patients who had "non-urgent" medical problems chose other medical care options. While the ER is certainly the place to go for life-threatening conditions, other conditions, like mild flu symptoms, can easily be treated at urgent care facilities.
And urgent care clinics aren't just less expensive, they're also extremely convenient. About 85% of urgent care clinics are open every day of the week, meaning you can get medical care whenever you need it most.
Visiting a doctor is a common occurrence during flu season. So if you're looking for medical care outside of a primary physician, consider heading to an urgent care center near you for quick, convenient, and less expensive medical care.