US emergency number: 911
Atlas Travel Medical Insurance Atlas America plan is a visitor health insurance policy designed to provide medical and travel benefits, as well as emergency travel assistance to take the risk out of international travelers visiting the USA. Atlas America insurance is available to individuals, families, and groups from over 180 countries. You get access to quality care and are protected against the costs that can incur from unexpected medical and/ or travel emergencies.
If you have urgent medical conditions that are not considered life-threatening emergencies but want to see a doctor without delay, you can go to an Urgent Care Center. Urgent care centers usually don’t require appointments, are open with extended hours including evenings and weekends. Many urgent care facilities can conduct basic imaging (e.g. X-ray) and laboratory testing on-site.
If you want to get medical treatment for minor illnesses and injuries such as cold, rashes, minor sprain, there are walk-in clinics that you can go without an appointment.
Urgent care center is a type of acute care facility that treats urgent medical conditions that are not considered emergencies but still require care without delay. There are over 9,000 urgent care facilities in the U.S. and are conveniently located to serve patients within their communities.
Urgent care centers usually open longer than doctor’s office, e.g. from 8.am. - 8 p.m. or later, many stay open during weekends and holidays. Patients usually can walk in urgent care centers without appointments and wait for your turn. You can also choose to make an appointment.
The common medical conditions treated in urgent care centers are upper respiratory infection, flu, fever, throat ache, ear infection, urinary tract infection, animal bites, minor cuts requiring stitches, burns, minor bone fracture, twisted ankle, etc. Urgent care centers also offer vaccinations such as flu shots, tetanus and diphtheria, etc.
Urgent care centers are like intermediaries between primary care physicians and emergency room services. You can go to urgent care centers to treat common, non life-threatening illnesses and injuries like in a doctor’s office. But urgent care centers are not appropriate for severe, life-threatening medical emergencies, such patients will be referred to hospital emergency rooms.
Urgent care centers are usually staffed by doctors, nurse practitioners, lab and radiology technicians, and other health professionals. Many doctors who work at urgent care centers are certified family medicine, emergency medicine, or internal medicine physicians. Urgent care centers often provide basic X-ray and laboratory services such as blood tests, urinalysis, flu tests, pregnancy tests, etc. Urgent care centers do not have complex medical equipment such as MRI or CT scans.
Some urgent care facilities may be run by nurse practitioners with physician oversight, they can handle less severe cases, but not more complicated conditions. Some urgent care centers are staffed by specialists such as pediatricians, orthopedists or dentists that provide specialty-focused urgent care. You may want to contact the facility first to ensure if your condition is suitable for them.
Doctors or nurse practitioners are able to prescribe medications such as antibiotics. Some urgent care centers have medication-dispensing terminals for common prescriptions.
The cost of urgent care center is much cheaper than that of a hospital emergency room. A visit to urgent care typically costs between $100 to $200 U.S. dollars. It depends on the severity of your injury or illness. You may be charged for x-rays, tests, medications, injections, or other treatments that you receive. Most urgent care clinics accept health insurance, also allow you to pay cash at the time of service.
Atlas Travel Medical Insurance covers for eligible medical expenses of Urgent Care Center visits. If you visit Urgent Care Center in the U.S., you are only responsible for a $15 co-payment, and are not subject to deductible, i.e. you just need to pay $15 for the visit and Atlas insurance will pay the rest of eligible medical expenses. If you have an Atlas policy with a $0 deductible, then this co-payment is waived, i.e. Atlas insurance will pay 100% of covered medical expenses.
In many large pharmacies, grocery and retails stores (e.g. CVS, Target, Walgreens, Walmart), there are health clinics that you can walk in without an appointment. These walk in clinics are usually staffed by nurse practitioners or physician assistants, you can get treatment for very minor illnesses and injuries such as cold, flu-like symptoms, ear pain, rashes, eye redness, minor sprain, cuts that don’t require stitches etc.
Nurse practitioners are nurses with advanced training who are qualified to treat certain medical conditions without the direct supervision of a doctor. Physician assistants are trained to provide primary care under the supervision of a licensed physician. Both nurse practitioners and physician assistants can prescribe medicine.
There are limits of the services that these walk-in health clinics can offer. If the medical conditions are more serious, patients will be referred to other facilities such as emergency rooms or urgent care centers.
Walk-in clinics have convenient locations, opening hours range from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week. Walk-in health clinics are affordable, it usually costs less than $100 U.S. dollars for a visit.
If you get medical treatment for a covered illness or injury from a walk-in clinic in the U.S., you are only responsible for a $15 co-payment, and are not subject to deductible. If you have an Atlas America policy with a $0 deductible, then this co-payment is waived, i.e. Atlas America insurance will pay 100% of covered medical expenses.
It is in your advantage to choose Urgent Care Centers / Walk in Clinics from Tokio Marine HCC-MIS Group’s Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) networks: FirstHealth Network or UnitedHealthcare Network. You are free to go to health care providers that are not in the PPO networks.