Urgent Care

How Much Urgent Care Visits Cost Without Insurance in 2021

Alyssa Orcuilo04 Aug 2021

The costs for an individual without insurance ranges anywhere from $80 to $280 for a basic Level I urgent care visit and $140 to $440 for an advanced Level II visit. 

The cost for your visit is also dependent on your location. Whether for a fever, a sore throat, or even a sports injury, urgent care is an optimal solution in terms of affordability and convenience.

There are a few solutions to get urgent care cheaper without insurance, like Mira, where you can book an appointment online at a fixed $99 copay where all in-house services are covered at no extra charges. 

The Cost of Urgent Care

Based on our research, the cost of an urgent care visit is between $135 and $198. Urgent care can help you save hundreds of dollars in medical costs, and is more convenient than an emergency room visit. However, it is difficult to know how much an urgent care visit costs without insurance because every facility and company will charge differently depending on the services you’re receiving. Below we outline the average costs for various services at urgent care centers nationwide.

The Average Costs for Different Services at Urgent Care

Reason for VisitPrice without insurance
Allergies$97
Acute Bronchitis$127
Earaches$110
Sore Throat$94
Pink Eye$102
Sinusitis$112
Urinary Tract Infections$111
Upper Respiratory Infections$111

Factors That Influence Your Urgent Care Cost

Several factors impact how much your urgent care visit will cost. These factors should be analyzed to determine whether urgent care is the right place for you to get medical treatment. The most common factors that influence the cost of urgent care are: 

Office Visit Cost

Each urgent care center has a different office visit cost. The office visit cost is the baseline fee patients have to pay. The office visit cost is typically between $100 and $200, but it may be more expensive to include some basic tests and procedures. According to our research, the average baseline office visit cost at an urgent care is $141.60.

Location of the Urgent Care

The cost for an urgent care visit without insurance will depend on where the urgent care center is located. The average out-of-pocket urgent care cost is highest in Seattle, Washington, and the lowest cost is in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Average Out of Pocket Urgent Care Costs in Major Cities*

CityOut of Pocket Cost
New York City, NY$189
Los Angeles, CA$175
Chicago, IL$166
Philadelphia, PA$178
Houston, TX$180
Salt Lake City, UT$175
Seattle, WA$198
Wisconsin, ML$165
Las Vegas, NV$135

*These costs reflect the office visit cost, 1 test (ex: rapid flu, strep tests). Additional testing could range between $15-60 per test.  An x-ray could cost an additional $65, and higher-level services could add $99 or more.

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The Level, or Type, of Visit

At most urgent care clinics, there are different levels of service, typically either level I or level II.  Each service qualifies as one, and level II usually requires additional costs due to the expertise needed or the type of equipment used. For example, the treatment for strep throat requires the basic examination, visit cost, and a fee for extra services like a strep test (this usually adds $30-$40); this would be a level I visit. However, for conditions that require extra procedures like x-rays, the cost could be much higher, between $250 to $500, which would be a level II visit.

When looking at the cost of urgent care clinics, it is important to identify which level (I or II) you need so that you know what price you will be paying. Infectious diseases like flu, strep, and so on usually fall under basic visits, while sports injuries requiring X-rays or minor surgeries would fall under more advanced visits.

On average, a level I urgent care visit will cost between $120 to $160. For conditions that require additional procedures like sports injuries and minor wounds, you can expect to pay $180 to $240 in total.

Urgent Care Cost Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Below we break down the most popular frequently asked questions about the cost of urgent care visits.

What services do urgent care centers provide?

In general, urgent care centers offer treatment for non-life-threatening medical conditions, such as: 

  • Allergic reactions and asthma
  • Cuts, burns, bug bites, and animal bites
  • Falls, sprains, strains, and broken bones
  • Colds and flu
  • Pink eye
  • Ear infections
  • Sinus pressure and sinus infections (sinusitis)
  • Bronchitis and strep throat

Urgent care centers oftentimes provide the following lab testing services as well:

  • Blood tests including blood glucose, basic and comprehensive metabolic panels, complete blood counts, etc.
  • Electrolyte testing
  • STD tests
  • Pregnancy tests
  • Urinalysis
  • Drug tests and screenings
  • Fecal blood occult
  • Flu and rapid flu tests
  • Strep tests
  • PT / INR tests

Most urgent care centers also provide routine care, such as:

  • Vaccinations and flu shots
  • Physicals (school, sports, or annual)
  • Gynecologic exams
  • Drug screening
  • Well baby checks

What’s the difference between urgent care and the emergency room?

Whether you go to urgent care or the emergency room depends on the medical situation you are in. If you are in an emergency, you should always go to the emergency room because urgent care can not provide the level of care you may need. If you are not experiencing an urgent medical situation and the hours are between 8 AM and 5 PM (unless the center is open later or earlier), you may want to consider visiting an urgent care center. 

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Urgent care can treat minor fractures, nonemergency x-rays, back pain, and cold and flu symptoms. At the same time, the emergency room may treat more severe conditions, such as chest pain, heart attack symptoms, and difficulty breathing.

When you have ailments like the flu or cold, it is much more affordable to go to an urgent care clinic as opposed to the emergency room. Because of the high cost of operations (24/7 staffing, expensive equipment, etc.), a simple trip to the emergency room could easily cost over $500, with or without insurance.

Do urgent care centers accept insurance?

It is up to the insurance provider whether they cover urgent care centers or not. However, many insurance providers cover urgent care visits, but patients will be expected to pay the co-pay or deductible implied by their plan. 

You should also be aware that an urgent care center may choose not to accept your insurance, even if your insurance provider would otherwise pay for the care. This could be avoided by calling the urgent care center ahead of time and asking if they accept your insurance.

Avoiding High Costs at Urgent Care

Without insurance, urgent care may incur high medical costs. However, there are ways you can avoid this. The most common ways to cut your medical costs are: 

Look Up "Self-pay" Rates

Websites such as Healthcare Bluebook and SolvHealth allow you to get an estimate of how much your urgent care visit is going to cost. The self-pay rate is the charge set by clinics for patients without insurance. It may also be possible to get a payment plan.

Call Before You Go

Calling ahead of time allows you to check for available time slots and leads to a better understanding of how the urgent care center charges patients without insurance. While calling beforehand, you may want to ask about their pricing for patients paying out of pocket.

Ask the Right Questions

When going for your visit, make a list of questions you have regarding pricing and services for the visit. Here are some examples:

  • How much will this test cost?
  • If I need an x-ray or additional testing, how much will it cost?
  • Is this the only test I need for today?
  • How much will this prescription medicine cost?
  • Is there an office visit fee?
  • What other administrative fees can I expect?
  • Are there separate charges for the office visit and in-house lab tests?
  • Is there a bundle price for certain services?

Bottom Line

Visiting an urgent care center is a more affordable method of receiving treatment when compared to going to the emergency room. Various factors influence cost, including location, level of care, and office visit cost. 

There are always ways to save money on urgent care visits. One is a membership with Mira. For just $45 per month, members can access affordable urgent care visits, low-cost lab testing, and up to 80% off prescriptions. Sign up now, and you could visit an urgent care center near you as quickly as today!