In the United States, an emergency room visit costs $2,200 on average, according to the most prominent insurance carrier in the U.S., UnitedHealthcare. Sometimes, a visit to the emergency room can exceed these prices since the actual price you pay out of pocket will depend on your condition and the diagnostic tests and treatments you undergo.
A few things to know about how emergency departments determine how much to charge you:
- Total charge = triage fees + facility fees + professional fees + supplies. When you get registered as a patient at the ER, you get charged a triage fee, typically $200-$1000. Next, when you are assigned to a room, you will incur a facility charge of $1,118, covering your time in the room and nurses’ time. Contrary to common beliefs, the attending physician or professional fees are not included within the facility charge and often get billed separately, along with any medications or medical supplies during your visit.
- There are 5 acuity (severity) levels; each has a different charge. Depending on the scale from 1 to 5, if you are a level 3 or above, you may have to wait much longer compared to level 1. If you are level 3 (which is most common), you get charged a lot more than someone who is level 5.
- Your bill might be reduced if you are eligible for a charity care program. Sometimes hospitals have charity care programs that are income-based. You will get a reduced charge for your ER visits. After your visit, you can access these programs by contacting the hospital patient advocacy department.
It is essential to determine if your condition is genuinely emergent or could be treated at urgent care. Mira could help you access affordable urgent care, virtual care services, discounted prescriptions, and more, starting at just an average of $45 per month. Learn more.
Alyssa is a Senior Marketing Associate & Content Writer at Mira. She is passionate about educating others on how to affordably access healthcare.