Where do you go when you have a minor illness or injury? Your primary doctor? The emergency room? The Walgreens Healthcare Clinic?
I have been going to my primary care doctor for more than two decades. When it comes to big things, there isn’t another doctor I would trust. So when he moved his practice an hour away, I didn’t bother finding a new doctor. I’ll make the drive for someone who knows my history and habits. But when it comes to minor illnesses and aches and pains, driving across town is well, a pain.
When you have kids, minor illnesses pop up regularly. Things like strep happen. But dragging the kids across town to check to see if mom needs antibiotics makes me feel even sicker. So for the past few years, I have used walk in clinics for my minor ailments. The clinic I go to is nice, but expensive. Because I have a high-deductible insurance the $150+ visit comes out of my pocket. Ouch!
I knew there was a clinic inside my Walgreens, I see it every time I pick up my prescriptions. But I have always looked right past it. I didn’t know anything about it, and I just assumed it wasn’t for me. I was wrong.
After being asked to learn more about the Walgreens Healthcare Clinic to share on my blog, I started my research. I was surprised to learn how many services the clinic can attend to, and how affordable services are. Actually, I was surprised by a lot of things.
6 Reasons To Visit A Walgreens Healthcare Clinic
Upfront Prices – As I mentioned, I have a high-deductible insurance. For some reason every time I visit the local walk-in clinic (and my daughter’s pediatrician), I am unable to get a straight answer up front how much the visit will cost. I am regularly told, “We will bill your insurance and then bill you for the balance.” I try to explain that I know I will be responsible for the full amount, but my arguments fall on deaf ears. So I leave expecting a bill for an unknown amount later — annoying. So when I noticed a life-size sign in front of the Walgreens Healthcare Clinic I was relieved. No mystery pricing, everything is right there for you to compare.
Affordable Services – Based on recent experience (a strep visit that cost +$150 and my daughter’s ear infection that cost $96) I was curious to see how rates would stack up. Minor illnesses are just $79-89 per visit (*charges may be higher based on length and complexity of your visit). In other words, my daughter’s simple earache would have been $79, a $17 savings. On the other side of the sign I noticed prices for additional tests with strep listed for $17. So my visit (which was also simple) would have been $96, a $54+ savings!
Most Insurance Plans Accepted – Although we have never actually met our deductible (knock on wood), I do like to make sure that every medical need goes toward our deductible. So I wondered about insurance. I was even more excited about the savings when I discovered that most insurance plans are accepted, so visits would still be applied toward my deductible. (Note, for those with traditional insurance you only have to pay your regular co-pay for the visit. Just like any other traditional medical facility.)
Convenient – Another clear benefit of the Walgreens Healthcare Clinic is one-stop shopping. Whether you need to fill a prescription or pick up an over-the-counter medication, everything is right there. When you are toting around sick kids convenience is golden.
Extended Hours of Operation – I don’t know about you, but my kids always seem to get sick after 5 pm and on the weekends. You know, when the doctor’s office is closed. Most Walgreens Healthcare Clinics are available seven days a week with evening hours. So you can get your kids the care they need, when they need it. (Unfortunately my clinic is not open on the weekends at this time, but fingers crossed that will change soon.)
Wellness and Prevention – Not just for illnesses, Walgreens Healthcare Clinic also offers services like vaccinations, school/camp physicals, health screenings and more.
This year when an illness strikes my family, I will be hitting up the Walgreens Healthcare Clinic instead of the local walk-in clinic. I’ll save money and time so I can hurry up and get better.