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Where Should I Go for Care?

Sometimes it's easy to know when you should go to an emergency room (ER), such as when you have severe chest pain or unstoppable bleeding. Sometimes it's not. So where do you go when you have an ear infection or are generally not feeling well?

You have options for receiving in-network care that work with your schedule and give you access to the right kind of care at the right time.

Guide to Help You Decide the Best Place to Receive Care

Chart to help you decide the best place to receive care
Care Option Hours Your Relative Cost Description Common Uses
Primary Provider's Office Office hours vary Usually lowest out-of-pocket cost Your physician's office is generally the best place to go for non-emergency care.
  • General health issues
  • Health and annual exams
  • Vaccinations
  • Treat the flu and colds
  • Minor aches and pains
  • Virtual Visits 24 hours, seven days a week Usually lowest out-of-pocket cost Live consultation with an independently contracted, board-certified MDLIVE doctor by online video, mobile app or phone.
  • Many non-emergency medical conditions
  • Allergies
  • Cold, flu and nausea
  • Sinus infections
  • Asthma
  • Pinkeye
  • Retail Health Clinic* e.g. MinuteClinic (CVS) Similar to retail store hours Usually lowest out-of-pocket cost Walk-in clinics are often located in stores and pharmacies to provide convenient, low-cost treatment for minor medical problems.

    Common illnesses such as pink eye, strep throat Minor wounds, abrasions and skin conditions, such as poison ivy

    Urgent Care Provider* Generally include evenings, weekends and holidays Usually lower out-of-pocket cost than an ER visit Urgent care providers can offer care when your physician is not available or you don't need the level of care an emergency room provides.
  • Stomach pain
  • Minor falls and cuts
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Household accidents
  • Sprains and strains
  • Emergency Room (ER) 24 hours, seven days a week Highest out-of-pocket cost ERs treat serious illnesses and injuries.
  • Major lacerations
  • Broken bones
  • Heart attack
  • If you need to find an urgent care center you can use our Provider Finder®. Click "Find a network provider" then "Find an Urgent Care Center."

    To quickly and easily locate physicians, hospitals and urgent care providers from your mobile device download the BCBSIL Find Doctors app.

    You can also contact Member Services at 1-800-621-7336 (Bargained), 1-855-439-3641 (Management and WarnerMedia) if you need help locating a provider.

    Contact our 24/7 Nurseline at 1-800-299-0274 if you need help deciding where to receive care after hours.

    *Planning ahead gives you the best opportunity to select an in-network provider in an emergency situation.