Medical Loans For Urgent Care And Emergency Room Care - Everything You Need To Know
A medical event that requires urgent or emergency care can be life-threatening. In these situations, choosing the right type of care is crucial. It is also essential to know the difference in cost between these two types of care and select a loan that will cover the cost of emergency treatment.
Vehicle accidents, heart attacks, and strokes can strike suddenly. Should you find yourself in a critical medical condition there may not be time for much discussion - the priority is getting to a medical facility to receive life-saving care.
Knowing what the different types of emergency care are and which online medical loans are most appropriate to your condition can make a huge difference - both to your health and to your finances.
The Important Differences Between Emergency Room Care And Urgent Care
There are two types of medical care that are available to patients in a serious condition: emergency room (ER) and urgent care. There are several important differences between the two.
Emergency Room (ER) Care
- Emergency Room care is suitable for life-threatening emergencies.
- If you suspect that you are having a stroke or heart attack, experience breathing difficulty, or suddenly lose vision, you should head to the ER immediately
- Emergency Room treatment is often the default option for patients who call an ambulance
- Urgent care caters to patients who have serious but not life-threatening conditions that require rapid attention a doctor’s office is unable to provide
- An urgent care facility tends to be a walk-in clinic that offers a range of tests and treatments
- X-rays, blood work, stitches, and treatment for mild burns and animal bites are some of the medical services offered by urgent care
The complexity of care, type of equipment, and specialization of doctors available at the ER will be more advanced than at an urgent care facility. The cost will almost always be higher too.
Pros And Cons of Emergency Room Care Vs. Urgent Care
Emergency care offers top-level treatment for dangerous conditions while urgent care is an affordable choice for less severe medical issues. Here are some pros and cons of each.
- Life-saving medical specialists and equipment are available 24 hours a day
- A large range of doctors are at hand to consult on your condition
- The ER staff are trained to deal with severe medical emergencies, improving your chances of survival and recovery
- Emergency care is significantly more expensive than urgent care
- If your condition does not warrant emergency care you may end up being treated and pay more than necessary
- A wide range of medical treatments and facilities for the treatment of less serious illnesses and conditions
- Diagnostic services including pathology and radiology on site
- More affordable than emergency care for patients with less severe medical issues
- Urgent care facilities are not equipped to deal with life-threatening conditions
- Going to an urgent care facility with a severe condition can waste valuable time since you will be moved to an ER immediately
The best way to choose between urgent care and emergency care is to consider the type of symptoms you are experiencing. If you experience severe chest pains, difficulty breathing or any other symptoms of a serious condition, head straight to the ER.
Urgent Care Medical Loans
A visit to an urgent care facility is likely to cost you between $100 and $200 depending on your illness and the treatment you receive.
There are medical loans available to cover costs of urgent care. These include:
- Urgent Care Loans - These may be offered at the medical facility. They tend to be unsecured loans with APRs that vary according to your credit score and other factors.
- Medical Credit Cards - This is a specialized type of credit card that can only be used for medical expenses. APRs also vary with your FICO score but you may be able to take advantage of a zero interest introductory period.
- Personal Loans - You can pay for your urgent care expenses using a regular personal loan. Choosing a secured loan that requires an asset as collateral can lower the APR and improve the terms of your loan.
Emergency Room Care Medical Loans
A visit to the emergency room could cost upwards of $500 if not much more. There are several loans available for patients who don’t have this amount available in cash.
- ER Care Loans - Many hospitals work with selected loan providers to offer their ER patients unsecured medical loans for emergency care. This allows the patient to settle their ER bill before they leave the hospital - but you’ll want to consider your options before you sign on the dotted line.
Since the cost of ER care is higher than urgent care, agreeing to a high-APR loan on amounts of $500 and above can lead to high monthly payments. You may also be more likely to default on your payments if they turn out to be unaffordable.
Don’t feel pressured to settle your ER bill on the spot. The best strategy is to go home, consider your options - medical loans, a secured personal loan, a medical credit card, or a loan from a friend or relative - and make the best decision possible.
Fees & Rates To Be Aware Of
Fees and rates associated with the loan you apply for can be costly - and you need to know how much they’ll come to before you sign the agreement. Look out for the following:
- Application fees - These amounts are charged by the loan company in exchange for processing your application.
- Administrative fees - These are similar to application fees and cover the cost of processing and compiling your application paperwork.
- Prepayment fee - A penalty that the loan provider will charge you for repaying your loan ahead of schedule.
- Late payment penalty - An extra fee that you will be charged if your payment is made after the due date.
Payment Plans For Urgent And Emergency Care
Payment plans are offered by many hospitals - both for emergency and urgent care. This is a cost-effective option if you’re sure you can make your payments on time.
- Payment plans allow you to split the cost of your medical treatment into several installments.
- You may need to pay a deposit (down payment) at the hospital when you are discharged, and the balance is payable in monthly or bi-monthly.
- Payment plans are usually interest free. However, if you fail to pay your account can be handed over for collection.
- This type of arrangement makes excellent financial sense - as long as you can afford the installments.
How To Choose The Right Course Of Action And Best Fitting Loan
Dealing with a medical crisis is never easy - but choosing the right type of treatment and the best medical loans to pay for it can make a huge difference for your health and finances.
- Don’t opt for emergency treatment unless you are experiencing symptoms of a severe condition.
- Less serious conditions can be treated at an urgent care facility at a lower cost.
- Don’t sign a medical loan application until the provider has done a soft credit check and pre-approved you. They should provide an accurate estimate of monthly loan installments up front.
- Save a significant amount by choosing the loan option with the lowest APR and best terms.
Knowing what to do in a medical emergency - in terms of your health and finances - can be tricky.
Making emotional decisions is natural in a crisis. Unfortunately, the financial consequences of choosing the wrong treatment and loan type can have long-lasting consequences.
The best strategy is to familiarize yourself with the differences between urgent and emergency care along with the financing options that are best suited to your specific situation - especially your creditworthiness.