Choosing the right care

It can save you time and money.

When you’re sick or need medical treatment, it’s important to make an informed decision about where you get your care. Doing so can ensure you get treated quickly without a long wait time, and it can even help you save a few bucks.

The next time you need medical care, remember these key points as you decide where to go.

Save money on your care.

The average estimated cost for an office visit is about $288 compared to nearly $1,100 for an emergency department visit.1

How your decision can help you save money.

Your plan’s member cost share – copays, coinsurance, and deductible – may apply to healthcare services you receive. So where you go for care will determine how much you pay for your care. Generally, costs are lowest for office visits and are highest for emergency department care.

You can find your member cost share on your plan ID card or by logging into your secure account.

Family doctor

Call your doctor first when you are sick or injured and it is not an urgent matter.

Your family doctor:

  • knows you and your medical history.
  • may be able to schedule an appointment immediately.
  • can help you decide what to do next if you need to see as specialist or visit a hospital.

Capital Blue Cross Virtual Care1

See a doctor anytime, anywhere in the U.S. from the convenience of your phone, tablet, or computer. Virtual Care doctors can diagnose common illnesses and send prescriptions straight to your pharmacy.

This service:

  • often costs less than a trip to an urgent care center or the emergency department.
  • gives you immediate 24/7 access to care if your family doctor’s office or nearby urgent care centers are closed.
  • is a great way to get care if the weather is bad or you are traveling.

Virtual Care is also free to use through December 31, 2021, for Capital Blue Cross members who have the service included in their benefit plan. Check your certificate of coverage to see if you do.

Download our Virtual Care app today.

App Store   Google Play

Nurse Line

Nurse Line is a free service for Capital Blue Cross members. You can speak with a registered nurse about symptoms, the best place to go if you need care, and any other general health concerns. You can reach Nurse Line at 800.452.2583 (TTY: 711) or start a chat within your secure account under the Wellness tab.

Urgent care center

If you believe you should have same-day care and you can’t see your doctor, an urgent care center may be a good option. No appointments are necessary at an urgent care center, and some have on-site pharmacies. Many urgent care centers can take X-rays and even stitch wounds.

Urgent care centers are good for minor injuries such as:

  • colds and flu,
  • earaches,
  • minor burns,
  • minor skin rashes,
  • small cuts, or
  • sprains and strains.

Emergency department

You should only use the ER for serious problems that require immediate attention. If a problem is serious, you should call 911 or go straight to an emergency department.

Visit the emergency department for serious or life-threatening problems that need immediate attention. Those include:

  • chest pain,
  • breathing trouble,
  • severe dizziness or confusion,
  • seizures,
  • heavy bleeding,
  • large open wounds,
  • severe vomiting, or
  • poisoning.

How can I find providers?

Use MyCare Finder to search for doctors, hospitals, urgent care centers, and other healthcare providers. MyCare Finder will help you locate in-network doctors, who have a contract with Capital Blue Cross to give you care at agreed upon rates. If you visit an out-of-network provider, you may pay much more for your care or your plan may not cover your care costs at all.

Healthwise® Knowledgebase symptom checker

Our free library of health topics and interactive tools can help you determine when and where to seek care. Type a word or short phrase into the search box to find information about a specific condition or health-related question. To use the symptom checker, click on Check Your Symptoms.


1Based on Capital Blue Cross 2019-2020 claims data

2Virtual Care visits may not be covered under all benefit plans. Refer to your Certificate of Coverage for benefit details. Copays and deductibles may apply.