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What to do if you are sick

Call your doctor.

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If your illness is less serious (such as a bad cold), do NOT go to the emergency room. You may wind up paying a lot of money if you go to the emergency room when it is not a true emergency. Instead, call your doctor’s office. Some health plans have nurses you can call for advice on whether you should go to the doctor or the emergency room. You can find out by calling your health plan’s member services number.


Your doctor may ask you to come for an office visit. For sick visits, usually doctors give an appointment within a short time. There may be laws in your state that require your doctor to give you a sick appointment within a certain number of days. You can call your health plan’s member services number to find out. 

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Your doctor may prescribe medicine for you to pick up at the drug store or pharmacy. Remember to follow your doctor’s instructions for taking the medicine and returning to the office for a follow-up visit, if you need to.

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Special Note: If you go to an urgent care clinic, first check that they are an “in-network” provider. Many urgent care clinics say they “accept most insurance,” but you should still check that they are an “in-network” provider with your insurance. Otherwise, you could get stuck with a big bill.