Emergency Room or Immediate Care Facility?

At Premier Health Plan, nothing is more important to us than helping members get the care they need, when they need it.  Did you know that some things you might go the Emergency Room for can be treated at an Immediate Care Facility? You don’t have to spend a long wait in the ER for some conditions, and your plan covers visits to immediate care facilities.

Sometimes, the emergency room is necessary. Learn more about the difference between the emergency room and immediate care facility, and how you can get the care you need, when you need it.

When Should You Go to the Emergency Room or an Immediate Care Facility?

If your sudden illness or injury is something you would normally feel comfortable addressing with your primary care doctor, then an immediate care facility is probably more appropriate than the emergency room.

Immediate Care Facilities

Immediate care facilities (urgent care clinics, retail clinics, after hours’ care or student health clinics) help fill the gap when you become sick or injured, but your doctor’s office is closed. Most immediate care facilities provide services related to:

Immediate care facilities are open during evening and weekend hours.

Emergency Rooms

Emergency rooms (ER) can treat any illness or injury, but are the best place for treating severe and life-threatening conditions.

Some symptoms best evaluated in an ER include:

  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Head injuries
  • Weakness or pain in a leg or arm
  • Sudden difficulty speaking or trouble understanding speech
  • Sudden, severe headache
  • Serious burns

In your view, if you have an emergency or believe your condition is life-threatening, immediately go to your nearest emergency department or call 911.

Your Access to Care

As a member of Premier Health Plan, we offer access to many Retail Clinics, After Hours Care, Urgent Care Clinics and Student Health Centers for access to health care service when you need it most.

  • Retail Clinics (PCP copays apply)
  • After Hours Care (PCP copays apply)
  • Urgent Care Clinics (Urgent Care copays apply)
  • Student Health Centers (PCP copays apply)

Students can visit the college or university clinic that is located on campus to be treated for injury or illness.

To find a location near you, use the Find‑a‑Doctor tool. Be sure to click on ‘All Facilities’ located on the left-hand side of the Find-a-Doctor tool to search for all 

E-Visits (PCP copays apply)

An online tool that allows you to connect with your doctor. E-Visits should be used only for routine health issues. Check with your doctor to see if this is available to you.

24/7 Nurse Line

As a Premier Health Plan member, you have immediate access 24 hours a day/seven day a week to health care advice through the Nurse Line. You can talk to a registered nurse about your health‑related questions, including those related to:

  • Medication side effects or dosing questions
  • Pains, cramps or upset stomach
  • Fevers and common colds
  • Cuts or bruises
  • Your doctor’s advice or treatment plans
  • Determining the need to call a doctor or go to the emergency room
  • Finding the closest in-network after-hours clinic

To speak to a registered nurse call, (855) 677-6593.

If you have a sudden illness or injury that is not severe or life-threatening, you may save time and money by going to an immediate care facility instead of an emergency room.