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Your 2024-2025 Benefits Guide

Where to get care when you need it now.

What should you do when you need care right away, but it’s not an emergency?

What should you do when you need care right away, but it’s not an emergency?

The emergency room (ER) might be your first choice, but you also have options that cost significantly less and are fasterthan the ER. Read on to learn more about these choices and how to find care.

Call your primary care doctor

This is the doctor you see for most of your care. When you call your doctor, he or she will tell you if you should make an appointment with the doctor, go to the ER or choose another place to get care. Your doctor may even be able to give you advice on the phone or see you later in the day or on the weekend. But when you can’t see your doctor or if your doctor’s office is closed, choose an option below. It often takes less time than the ER and costs about the same or less than a doctor visit. Plus, most are open weeknights and weekends.

Choose an option that could save time and money

LiveHealth Online — This online tool lets you video chat with a board-certified doctor who can answer questions and diagnose many common problems, including sore throats, infections and the flu. You can use your computer’s webcam, a smartphone or a tablet without an appointment or waiting. Enroll at or on the Live Health Online iOS or Android app. If you are enrolled in a PPO option, there is no cost to you for this visit. If you are in the Advantage HSA, there is no cost after you meet your deductible.

Retail health clinic — A clinic staffed by health care experts who give basic health care services to walk-in patients. It’s usually in a major pharmacy or retail store.

Walk-in doctor’s office — A doctor’s office that doesn’t require you to be an existing patient or have an appointment. Can handle routine care and common illnesses.

Urgent care center — A center with doctors who treat conditions that should be looked at right away but aren’t as severe as emergencies. Can often do X-rays, lab tests and stitches.

Pick a care facility and call before you go


  • What are your hours?
  • Tell them what has happened (for example, “I have a cut”).
  • Then ask, “Do you have services that I need?”
  • What age range do you treat?
  • Are you a provider who is part of my health plan network?
  • Do you accept my health insurance?

Be prepared now

Learn more at for:

  • Urgent care that’s not an emergency — Go to You can even take aquiz to learn how to save time and money.
  • Places to get care other than the ER — Go to and select Find Urgent Care. Choose Search for Urgent Care and enter the information tofind a facility near you.

When to go to the ER

Some examples of ER medical emergencies are:

Any life-threatening or disabling condition Severe shortness of breath Cut or wound that won’t stop bleeding
Sudden or unexplained loss of consciousness High fever with stiff neck, mental confusion or difficulty breathing Major injuries
Chest pain; numbness in the face, arm or leg; difficulty speaking Coughing up or vomiting blood


Always call 911 or go to the ER if you think you could put your health at serious risk by delaying care. Options have different services and costs. Call and ask before you go. Remember you have choices. If it’s not an emergency, callyour doctor first or the 24/7 Nurse Line at the phone number on your ID card. The nurse on the phone can help you decide what to do next.

If you are an HMO member, you should call your primary care doctor’s office or medical group to find out your choices for urgent care. Remember, if you get care from a provider that is NOT inyour health plan network, you may have significantly higher out-of-pocket costs.

When you need care, the ER doesn’t always have to beyour first choice

Here are the top 10 reasons why members go to the ER when it’s usually not necessary:*

  • 1. Minor headache
  • 2. Dizziness
  • 3. Urinary tract infection
  • 4. Migraine
  • 5. Flu
  • 6. Bronchitis
  • 7. Common cold
  • 8. Lower-back pain
  • 9. Nausea with vomiting
  • 10. Minor head injury

Remember, if it’s serious, sudden or severe, go to the ER. If it’s minor, mild or moderate, try LiveHealth Online, an urgent care center, retail health clinic, or walk-in doctor’s office to save time and money. Be ready for whatever comes your way. Learn more at or