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Options for Care

Get care when you need it

It's important to know where to go when you need medical care. Knowing your options and deciding where to go can make a big difference in how much you pay. Be prepared before you go and make sure ahead of time that the place you go to for care is in-network.

Virtual Visits


Average Costs

Type of care: Non-emergency medical issues.

Average wait time: Less than 10 minutes.

Available: 24/7

Doctor's Office


Average Costs

Type of care: Ongoing treatment, non-emergency care, preventive care.

Average wait time: 24 minutes.2

Office hours: Varies

Retail Health Clinic


Average Costs

Type of care: Often located in stores and pharmacies to provide convenient, low-cost treatment for minor medical problems. Usually lower out-of-pocket cost than urgent care.

Average wait time: Varies

Hours: Open during retail store hours.

Urgent Care Provider


Average Costs

Type of care: Non-emergency medical issues

Average wait time: 11- 20 minutes.3

Hours: Usually open evenings, weekends and holidays.

Hospital Emergency Room


Average Costs

Type of care: Best option for a life or limb-threatening conditions such as chest pain lasting more than two minutes, shortness of breath, stroke symptoms, uncontrolled bleeding, or fainting and seizures.

You may receive multiple bills for services such as hospital facility, laboratory fees and for each provider you see such as the emergency room doctor, radiologist, pathologist, anesthesiologist, etc.

Average wait time: 4 hours, 7 minutes4

Hours: Open 24/7

Freestanding Emergency Rooms


Average Costs

Type of Care: Emergencies and life-threatening conditions.

Most freestanding emergency room facilities and providers are out-of-network, so your share of the bill may be higher. Providers may “balance bill” you, which means they may charge you more than your health plan’s allowed amount.5

Average wait time: Varies

Hours: Open 24/7

24/7 Nurseline
Virtual Visits
Where to Go for Care Learn more pdf documents
How to Get More Out of an Appointment with Your Doctor Learn more pdf documents
Provider Finder

* In the event of a true emergency, go to the nearest emergency room.

1 Your copay for virtual visits services may be as low as $0. For in-network virtual visit providers, HealthSelectSM of Texas (In-Area) and HealthSelectSM of Texas (Out-of-State) participants have a $0 copay. Consumer Directed HealthSelectSM and HealthSelectSM Secondary participants will have to meet their plan’s annual deductible and then the applicable coinsurance for virtual visits.

2 Medical Practice Pulse Report 2009, Press Ganey Associates

3 Urgent Care Benchmarking Study Results. Journal of Urgent Care Medicine, January 2012.

4 Emergency Department Pulse Report 2010 Patient Perspectives on American Health Care. Press Ganey Associates.

5 Texas Association of Health Plans, www.tahp.org

Note: The relative costs described here are for independently contracted network providers. Your costs for out-of-network providers may be significantly higher. Wait times described are just estimates. The information provided on this page is not intended as medical advice, nor meant to be a substitute for the individual medical judgment of a doctor or other health care professional. Please check with your doctor for individualized advice on the information provided. Coverage may vary depending on your HealthSelect plan’s benefits and the use of network providers. This information is intended solely as a general guide to what services may be available. The actual availability of services may vary greatly from location to location. If you have questions about any health concern, you should discuss them with your health care provider.

For questions, please call a Personal Health Assistant at (800) 252-8039. If you need emergency care, call 911 or seek help from any doctor or hospital immediately.

A Division of Health Care Service Corporation, a Mutual Legal Reserve Company, an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

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