Copays & Deductible Costs : Avoiding Sticker Shock

Care Without Insurance:

Your cost for Walk-in Urgent Care without Health Insurance is $175 for a regular walk-in visit at Nao Medical. Most other walk-in urgent care facilities that are accredited by the Urgent Care Association, charge $280 in the New York area.  

Experience the difference Nao*

Care With Health Insurance:

If you have health insurance and need immediate attention and are looking for immediate care options, you need to know a few things as there is a persistent lack of transparency in health care.

In the past, we often cautioned against using the emergency room (ER) for minor emergencies. With average ER bills soaring above $1,200, it’s a costly option for non-life-threatening situations. Now, with over 10,000 urgent care centers in the US, far exceeding the number of ERs, it’s time to discuss how to avoid financial pitfalls when choosing an urgent care center for immediate medical attention for yourself or your family member.

Insurances List

1199 National Benefit Funds Humana
Aetna MagnaCare
Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicaid
Cigna Medicare Plans
Emblem Health Plans MetroPlus Plan
Empire BCBS Health Plus Molina Healthcare of New York
Farmers Insurance Oxford Health Plan
Fidelis Care of NY Exchange State Farm Insurance
Fidelis of NY Medicaid (Need Auth) The Empire Plan – NY Government
Geico Tricare
GHI United Health Care
Healthfirst United Healthcare Community Plan
HIP – Commercial Workers Compensation
HIP – Medicaid And Many More Health Insurance Plans…(Please Call Us)

Experience the difference Nao*

 

Understanding Insurance: A Guide to Key Terms and Their Definitions

This comprehensive guide will help simplify the complex world of insurance by providing clear and concise explanations of essential insurance-related terms that impact what your cost of care might be so you can make informed decisions in seeking healthcare.

First, let’s understand two commonly used terms:

 

Co-Pay

A co-pay, also known as a copayment, is a fixed fee paid by the patient at the time of receiving medical services. It typically applies to specific covered services, such as doctor’s appointments, prescriptions, or diagnostic tests. The co-pay amount is predetermined by the health insurance plan and is often a small percentage of the total cost of the service.

 

Deductible

Almost all health plans in 2024 have a deductible. A deductible is the amount a patient must pay out-of-pocket for covered medical expenses before the insurance company starts sharing the costs. It serves as a financial threshold, and once met, the insurance company begins covering a portion of the eligible expenses.

 

The deductible amount varies depending on the health insurance plan and can range from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars. Also, depending on the insurance contract the insurer has with your medical provider, and their negotiating power, the same insurer allows even a “far higher” allowable deductible to go through as a “pass through” expense to the consumer. 

 

This means the consumer has no way of knowing how much their “full cost of care” will be until they receive their entire itemized medical bill for the first time in the mail. Even the staff at these urgent care centers would not know the contracted rates of the medical practice. It is a good general rule that the Big Box Pharmacy owned medical practices as well as Hospital or Insurance-affiliated Urgent Care Chains and National Franchises have far higher rates allowed by an insurer. They pass this ‘allowed rate’ to pass through to their insured customer who now has to pay up these HIGH costs. Had the consumer known this cost upfront, they could have made informed choices about their medical care.

Experience the difference Nao*

 

Understanding Insurance: A Guide to Key Terms and Their Definitions

This comprehensive guide will help simplify the complex world of insurance by providing clear and concise explanations of essential insurance-related terms that impact what your cost of care might be so you can make informed decisions in seeking healthcare.

First, let’s understand two commonly used terms:

 

Co-Pay

A co-pay, also known as a copayment, is a fixed fee paid by the patient at the time of receiving medical services. It typically applies to specific covered services, such as doctor’s appointments, prescriptions, or diagnostic tests. The co-pay amount is predetermined by the health insurance plan and is often a small percentage of the total cost of the service.

 

Deductible

Almost all health plans in 2024 have a deductible. A deductible is the amount a patient must pay out-of-pocket for covered medical expenses before the insurance company starts sharing the costs. It serves as a financial threshold, and once met, the insurance company begins covering a portion of the eligible expenses.


The deductible amount varies depending on the health insurance plan and can range from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars. Also, depending on the insurance contract the insurer has with your medical provider, and their negotiating power, the same insurer allows even a “far higher” allowable deductible to go through as a “pass through” expense to the consumer. 


This means the consumer has no way of knowing how much their “full cost of care” will be until they receive their entire itemized medical bill for the first time in the mail. Even the staff at these urgent care centers would not know the contracted rates of the medical practice. It is a good general rule that the Big Box Pharmacy owned medical practices as well as Hospital or Insurance-affiliated Urgent Care Chains and National Franchises have far higher rates allowed by an insurer. They pass this ‘allowed rate’ to pass through to their insured customer who now has to pay up these HIGH costs. Had the consumer known this cost upfront, they could have made informed choices about their medical care.

Experience the difference Nao*

 

5 Tips to Avoid The Urgent Care Billing Trap

This guide will help you navigate a potentially costly world of urgent care billing. By understanding common mistakes, you can avoid unexpected charges from urgent care and manage your healthcare expenses effectively.    

Mistake #1: Falling for the Big-Box Urgent Care Trap

As consumers, we often contribute to inflated healthcare costs without realizing it. Despite the availability of more affordable and cost-effective options for immediate medical attention, your health insurance company allows Big-Box Pharmacy-owned, Hospital-owned/affiliated, Insurance Company affiliated as well as National “Family Care” Franchisee owned urgent care centers to charge and collect these hefty per-visit amounts from your deductible:  
Insurance Provider Typical Insurance Approved Charge That WIll Pass Through To Your Deductible
United Healthcare: $260
Blue Cross Blue Shield: $220
Aetna: $200
Empire NYS Plan: $135 to $140
Cigna: $260
GHI: $175
Emblem: $175
Fidelis: 105% of Medicare rates
HealthFirst: $150
UHC Community Plan: $140
These inflated rates often exceed two to three times the charges of independent urgent care centers. As a result, even if you have health insurance, you could still end up with a hefty bill. For example, if you have a $5,000 deductible and a $50 copay, and your visit to a big-box urgent care center costs $350, you’ll be responsible for $300 out of pocket in addition to the 50$ copay you already paid.     Smaller independent urgent care or immediate care centers typically have lower overhead costs and are not bound by the same inflated pricing structures as big-box chains. They are often more transparent about their pricing compared to big-box chains.     

Why are big-box urgent care centers so expensive? 

Your Financial Risk Nao Medical Pharmacy/Hospital Affiliated Urgent Care/Family Care Franchises
Deductible Charge Lower Higher
Self Pay Charge $175 $280
Price Transparency Yes No
Insurance Accepted All major plans, almost 70% of which are capitated at a fixed price May not accept all plans or rates without balance Billing Clause
In-Network Status In-network with major plans Non-committal, esp. wrt specialist care, Anesthesia, Radiology (each billed under separate PC with its own contracted rates)
The answer lies in their negotiation tactics. Big-box urgent care centers have immense bargaining power due to their large networks and patient volumes. They leverage this power to extract higher rates from insurance companies, which ultimately pass on these costs to consumers This strategy, while profitable for the Big Box Pharmacy or Hospital affiliated Urgent Care Chains, creates a vicious cycle for consumers. When customers experience these inflated charges, they are less likely to return, leading to a constant need for new clients. As a result, these chains aggressively advertise on Google and other platforms, positioning themselves as convenient and accessible options for healthcare needs.

Experience the difference Nao*

 

Mistake #2: Unforeseen Expenses Lurk Around the Corner

Unknowing your copay for an urgent care visit can lead to a shocking financial surprise. If you’re young and healthy, you may not have encountered this expense before. To avoid sticker shock, call your health insurance company or check your insurance card beforehand.

 

 

Mistake #3: Hospital-Based Urgent Care: A Misconception of Affordability

Many hospitals have opened their own urgent care centers or established affiliations with existing ones. These centers often negotiate higher rates with insurance companies, potentially increasing your out-of-pocket costs. Additionally, hospital systems make most of their money from expensive specialists, so their urgent cares may be more inclined to recommend specialist consultations or additional tests, further driving up your expenses.

Experience the difference Nao*

 

Mistake #4: Overlooking the Convenience and Affordability of Telemedicine

For minor illnesses or injuries, telemedicine offers a convenient and cost-effective alternative to in-person visits. Through a video chat with an urgent care doctor, you can receive the care you need without the hassle of traveling to an urgent care center for around $100.

Experience the difference Nao*

 

Mistake #5: Not Choosing Community Based Urgent Care

The independent urgent care in your neighborhood employs and brings value to residents and businesses in your neighborhood. It is most likely a local, community based business owned and operated by dedicated physicians who reside in that town or a neighboring town and have a vested interest in keeping their community healthy. By choosing a community based medical office for your healthcare needs,, you’re ensuring that your dollars remain within the community, creating local employment opportunities instead of enriching distant stockholders who may have little regard for your neighborhood. The “Corner of Happy & Healthy” is likely in the “Swiss Alps”.

Experience the difference Nao*

 

Tips to Avoid Sticker Shock at Urgent Care

  1. Inquire about copays: Before visiting an urgent care center, call your insurance company to determine your copay.
  2. Ask for upfront pricing: Request the urgent care center’s pricing structure beforehand. While their staff may not have immediate access to insurance-contracted rates, they should be able to provide general cost estimates.
  3. Consider telemedicine: For minor health issues, telemedicine offers a convenient and affordable option.
  4. Opt for smaller urgent care centers: Favor smaller, independent urgent care centers over large chains, as they often have lower overhead costs and more transparent pricing policies.

By following these tips, you can navigate the complexities of urgent care costs and avoid unexpected medical bills.

Experience the difference Nao*

 

Nao Medical: Transparency and Affordability in Urgent Care

At Nao Medical, we prioritize transparency in pricing and affordability in urgent care. Our bills are almost half of what Big-Box Pharmacy-owned and  hospital-owned or affiliated urgent care centers charge. Our comprehensive range of services includes:

  • Minor illness and injury treatment
  • Lab tests and X-rays
  • Vaccinations
  • Televisits

We also offer a variety of self-pay options, ensuring that you can access the care you need without worrying about insurance limitations.

Nao Medical: Your Clear Choice For A Healthy & Happy You!

Experience the difference Nao*

 

Healthcare Access for Uninsured

Identifying Healthcare Resources for Uninsured Individuals

Healthcare access for uninsured individuals often appears challenging. For those finding healthcare without insurance, researching local no insurance health clinics near me is essential. These clinics provide various healthcare services for uninsured individuals. Additionally, low-income healthcare options without insurance offer essential medical services at reduced or no cost. A study by the National Association of Community Health Centers underscores the role of these clinics in ensuring healthcare access for all, regardless of insurance status (1).

 

Breakdown of Costs:

  • Typical cost ranges: A basic urgent care visit without insurance typically falls within $150-$250, while intermediate and complex visits can cost between $250-$350 and $350+, respectively (2).
  • Additional charges: Be aware of potential extra fees for diagnostic tests and medications (3).
  • Price transparency: Opt for urgent care centers with readily accessible online price lists or upfront estimates.
  • Financial assistance resources: Consider utilizing free or discounted care options offered by community clinics, charity programs, or sliding scale fee structures (4)(5).
  •  

Location and Insurance Alternatives:

  • Geographic variations: Urgent care costs can vary significantly across different regions (3).
  • Alternative options: Explore non-urgent care options for minor conditions, such as telehealth consultations or retail clinics (6).

Experience the difference Nao*

 

Overcoming Barriers to Accessing Healthcare without Insurance

Overcoming barriers to accessing medical care without insurance requires both knowledge and strategy. These services offer affordable healthcare without insurance. A study in the American Journal of Public Health discusses the role of community health programs in providing accessible healthcare to uninsured populations (7).

Uninsured individuals navigate a complex healthcare landscape fraught with various obstacles (8).

 

Exploring Healthcare Options:

  • Community Health Centers: These vital institutions play a crucial role in providing care to uninsured populations (1).
  • Free and Low-Cost Clinics: Exploring these options can significantly reduce financial burdens (9).
  • Telehealth Possibilities: Telehealth consultations are increasingly emerging as a valuable tool (10).

 

Managing Costs and Finances:

  • Negotiating Medical Bills: Understanding the potential for bill negotiation can help manage healthcare costs effectively (11).
  • Medication Savings: Resources like prescription assistance programs can offer significant savings on necessary medications (12).

 

Prioritizing Preventive Care:

  • Investing in Preventative Care: Regular checkups and preventive screenings offer long-term benefits (13).
  • Accessing Free Resources: Ensuring preventive care remains accessible despite financial limitations (14).
  •  
  •  

Advocating for Change:

  • Collective Action for Change: Supporting patient advocacy groups or participating in policy initiatives can contribute to positive change (15).

 

References:

  1. National Association of Community Health Centers. (2020). “The Role of Community Health Centers in Providing Access to Healthcare for Uninsured Individuals.”
  2. Fair Health Consumer Report. (2023). “Average Out-of-Pocket Costs for Urgent Care Services.”
  3. Healthcare Blue Book. (2024). “Urgent Care Cost Comparison Tool.”
  4. National Association of Free & Charitable Clinics. (n.d.). “Clinic Finder.”
  5. Healthcare Financial Assistance. (n.d.). “Financial Help for Healthcare.”
  6. University of Michigan Health System. (2019). “Study on Urgent Care Costs and Pricing Transparency.”
  7. American Journal of Public Health. (2018). “Community Health Programs: Ensuring Access to Healthcare for Uninsured Populations.”
  8. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2023). “Barriers to Care for Uninsured Adults.”
  9. Free Clinics and Community Health Centers. (n.d.). “Clinics Near Me.”
  10. American Telemedicine Association. (2023). “Telehealth Benefits and Access.”
  11. Healthcare Financial Management Association. (2024). “Patient Financial Assistance Programs.”
  12. Partnership for Prescription Assistance. (n.d.). “Find My Medication.”
  13. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2023). “The Benefits of Preventive Care.”
  14. National Council on Aging. (n.d.). “Free and Low-Cost Health Care Programs.”
  15. PatientsLikeMe. (n.d.). “Get Involved in Advocacy.”

Experience the difference Nao*

 

Urgent Care Costs and Options for the Uninsured

Understanding Urgent Care Pricing for Uninsured Patients

 

Urgent care costs can be a significant concern for uninsured individuals. Understanding urgent care pricing for uninsured patients is essential for those seeking medical attention without insurance. Urgent care costs with no insurance vary, but many clinics offer transparent pricing models. The cost of an urgent care visit without insurance typically depends on the type of services required. For individuals researching urgent care pricing with no insurance, it’s beneficial to look for urgent care no insurance near me options, as these facilities often have varied pricing structures to accommodate uninsured patients. A study by the University of Michigan Health System highlights the variability in urgent care costs and the importance of price transparency (1).

 

References:

  1. University of Michigan Health System. (2019). “Study on Urgent Care Costs and Pricing Transparency.”

Uninsured Costs Can Surprise

While seeking quick medical attention, uninsured patients should be aware that urgent care costs can vary significantly and even surpass typical emergency room expenses, with out-of-pocket costs averaging $150-$250 for basic visits, $250-$350 for intermediate, and exceeding $350 for complex concerns (Fair Health Consumer Report, 2023). Remember, these are just averages, and actual costs can be higher depending on location and additional services.

 

References:

Fair Health Consumer Report. (2023). “Average Out-of-Pocket Costs for Urgent Care Services.”

 

Understanding the Bill

The cost of your urgent care visit hinges on several factors, including the severity of your needs (basic, intermediate, or complex), your location (regional cost variations can be significant, check Healthcare Blue Book’s 2024 cost comparison tool), and any additional services like X-rays (typically $50-$200) or lab tests (average $50 per prescription) (Healthcare Blue Book, 2024).

 

References:

Healthcare Blue Book. (2024). “Urgent Care Cost Comparison Tool.”

 

Transparency Matters

Seek out urgent care centers that offer readily available online price lists or upfront estimates to make informed decisions before receiving care. Don’t be afraid to compare prices across several centers in your area to find the most affordable option (American Medical Association, 2023).

 

References:

American Medical Association. (2023). “Price Transparency in Healthcare.”

 

Alternatives for Minor Needs

For non-urgent situations, consider telehealth consultations or retail clinics as cost-effective options. Telehealth consultations can cost as little as $25, while retail clinics average around $75 per visit. However, remember that their capabilities might be limited compared to full-fledged urgent care facilities. Consider the severity of your condition and compare treatment options carefully (University of Michigan Health System, 2019).

 

References:

University of Michigan Health System. (2019). “Study on Urgent Care Costs and Pricing Transparency.”

 

Financial Help Available

Don’t hesitate to inquire about financial assistance programs offered by some urgent care centers or community resources specifically designed for eligible uninsured individuals. Resources like the National Association of Free & Charitable Clinics’ Clinic Finder can help you locate such facilities. Remember, seeking help shouldn’t be a barrier to receiving necessary care (National Association of Free & Charitable Clinics, n.d.).

 

References

National Association of Free & Charitable Clinics. (n.d.). “Clinic Finder.”

Experience the difference Nao*

 

Alternative Urgent Care Options for Individuals without Insurance

In terms of alternative urgent care options for individuals without insurance, there are several paths to explore. No insurance urgent care centers are specifically designed to serve uninsured individuals, offering medical treatment without insurance coverage. These centers provide emergency medical care with no insurance, ensuring that urgent health needs are met promptly. Additionally, there are options for affordable medical procedures without insurance, allowing patients to receive necessary treatments without the burden of excessive costs. A report by the Commonwealth Fund discusses the importance of these alternative care options in providing access to healthcare for uninsured populations (2).

 

References:

  1. Commonwealth Fund. (2020). “Report on Healthcare Access: Alternative Urgent Care Options for Uninsured Populations.”

Experience the difference Nao*

We believe in transparent, affordable prices.

At Nao Medical, we aim to offer a seamless experience to make our services accessible to everyone. We accept most major insurance plans, and even if you have no insurance, we provide our Urgent Care Costs without Insurance for self-pay patients, giving you the care when you need it most.