Skip to Top Main Navigation Skip to Content Area Skip to Footer
Texas Department of Insurance
Topics:   A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z All

Four ways of getting health care to avoid big bills


Did you wake up with a sore throat but can’t get an appointment with your doctor? You have several options to get the care you need – and avoid a big bill later.

Nurse online with patient
  1. Nurse line

    Does your doctor's office have a nurse line or online chat feature? Many of these services are available at all hours, and there’s no charge to use them.

  2. Virtual visit

    There are several online services that allow you to connect to a doctor from your phone, tablet, or computer.

    • Usually available at all hours and on weekends and holidays.
    • Check to see if your health plan has a preferred service.
    • Copays may be lower than an office visit or even free.
  3. Retail clinics

    These clinics, located in many pharmacies and large retailers, can treat minor conditions, provide vaccinations, and screening exams.

    • They accept most insurance plans.
    • Copays are often the same as a visit to your doctor, and some plans have lower copays for these clinics.
  4. Urgent care

    These centers have a doctor on staff and can treat injuries and illnesses that aren’t an emergency but do need quick action, such as a sprain or cut.

    • Copays vary by insurance plan.
    • You may be responsible for a deductible.
    • Ask whether the facility is in your plan's network.

Don’t confuse urgent care clinics with emergency rooms that aren’t in a hospital. Urgent care clinics are usually much cheaper.



Questions? Call us at 800-252-3439.

Last updated: 2/22/2024