An annual physical is a yearly doctor’s appointment where your overall health and wellness are assessed. Regardless of your age and health status, annual physicals are essential to preventing disease, maintaining wellness, and staying updated on your immunizations. While urgent care clinics are commonly visited for responsive medicine, many offer preventative care visits such as annual physicals.
Urgent Care Clinics That Offer Annual Physicals
CityMD, ProHEALTH, NextCare, and other urgent care clinics offer annual physicals. Outlined below are several urgent care clinics that do and do not offer annual physicals:
|Urgent Care Center||Offers Physical||Appointment Type|
|CityMD||Yes||Walk-Ins / Appointment|
|ProHEALTH Urgent Care||Yes||Walk-Ins / Appointment|
|NextCare||Yes||Walk-Ins / Appointment|
|FastMed||Yes||Walk-Ins / Appointment|
|Patient First||Yes||Walk-Ins / Appointment|
|CareNow||Yes||Walk-Ins / Appointment|
|GoHealth||Need to go to primary care location in GoHealth System||N/A|
|MedExpress||Yes||Walk-Ins / Appointment|
|American Family Care||Yes||Walk-Ins / Appointment|
Walk-in vs. Appointment
Some urgent care clinics take walk-in patients (meaning you do not need an appointment), while others accept walk-in patients and appointments.
It's important to call before making sure an appointment is not needed to be seen by a healthcare provider.
What to Expect During an Annual Physical
Physicals are a great way to have a conversation about your health with your healthcare provider. There are many physicals (e.g., school physicals, camp physicals, sports physicals, etc.). However, all types of physicals are meant to assess your overall state of health, prevent future illness, and address any concerns that you might have. An annual physical exam may include any of the following:
- Vital sign checks
- Visual examination of body (head, eyes, chest, abdomen, musculoskeletal system, nervous system)
- Physical examination (palpation to feel for abnormalities, genitalia/rectum examination, listening to heart/lungs, motor function tests)
- Laboratory tests
Additionally, screening tests may be performed depending on your biological sex, your age, and any risk factors you may have. These screening tests may include:
- Pap Smears
- Breast Exams
- Pelvic Exams
- Testicular Exams
- Prostate Cancer Screening
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The Cost of an Annual Physical at Urgent Care
While concrete prices vary by urgent care clinic, the price of an urgent care visit can range from $80-$240, depending on what kind of services you are receiving during your visit.
Coupled with administrative fees and medical fees in addition to the physical itself, an annual physical at an urgent care clinic may cost you hundreds of dollars. When seeking treatment for an annual physical, your total out-of-pocket cost will depend on several factors listed below.
- Insurance Status
- Type of Insurance
- Type of Immunizations
- Additional Tests and Lab Work
- Prescription Medication / Drugs
- Office Visit + Administrative Fees
Urgent Care Costs for an Annual Physical
Below is a chart with the price of an annual physical at major urgent care chains**:
|Urgent Care Center||Price For Annual Physical|
|ProHEALTH Urgent Care||$115|
|American Family Care||$125|
|MedExpress||$30 + additional office fees|
|GoHealth Urgent Care||$120|
** These are the prices for an office visit; some urgent care clinics include the annual physical cost with the office visit cost.
Who Should Get an Annual Physical
Note, if you are experiencing a medical emergency, you should immediately seek treatment from an emergency room or another medical professional. If possible, everybody should get an annual physical.
As they are largely focused on prevention and maintaining health, you can expect to be engaged in an active conversation with your provider about your lifestyle habits, dietary habits, and family history of disease, among other factors. Many times, a physical exam is part of a company’s employment screening process. The reasoning for this is to ensure the applicant is physically fit for the duties the job entails.
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Avoiding High Costs at Urgent Care
Seeking help from urgent care can be expensive and non-transparent. Several options can help you reduce your out-of-pocket cost — especially if you do not have insurance or your insurance has high deductibles.
Understanding what might appear on your bill and advocating for yourself during the billing process is essential to saving money. Outlined below are several questions you can ask the team at the urgent care clinic that might help you save money.
- How much is the total out-of-pocket cost?
- Will I be undergoing any testing today?
- How much will these tests cost?
- Are there administrative fees or fees for seeing a provider?
- Is one type of medicine cheaper than another?
- Is one type of test cheaper than another?
- What are my alternatives to this course of treatment?
Please note that the information in this article is meant to equip you with the information to decide for yourself whether or not to seek medical treatment.
Annual physicals are essential for keeping up with your health. They help to prevent disease, maintain good well-being, and be up-to-date with necessary vaccines. Urgent care centers oftentimes offer annual physicals as a service, however, they could be expensive without insurance.
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Spencer is a Public Health & Biology undergraduate student at New York University.