When you or any other member of your family gets extremely sick, the heat of the moment prompts you to visit an emergency room. After all, emergency rooms are meant to offer emergency treatments and attention to all life-threatening diseases. Although a visit to an ER is a life-saver, the entire process is super expensive. As you probably know, ER needs expensive treatment machines or equipment that require high cost of maintenance. Emergency room staffs are also high-profile professionals that need huge payments. All these expenses make your visit to an ER so expensive. Did you just visit an ER without insurance and look for answers on how much the visit will cost you? You came to the right page. Herein, we will break down the cost of an ER visit without insurance based on various factors. To know how much is an ER visit without insurance, read this content to the end.
When To Visit The ER
When you or your loved one gets sick abruptly, it is in your best interest to visit an emergency room for emergency attention. However, not all illnesses require you to visit an ER. When you experience minor sickness, it is best to visit less expensive treatment centers like the Urgent Care Center. So, what types of illnesses should make you visit an ER? Below are your answers:
Injury and poisoning: Intense injury and poisoning-related conditions are among the top reasons why you should visit an ER.
Chest pain: Chest pain is also considered as an emergency because it’s commonly perceived as a sign of heart attack or any other cardiac disease. As a result, several patients find it as a major reason to visit an ER.
Uncontrolled bleeding: Uncontrolled bleeding is another major reason why people visit an ER. This is because it is considered a life-threatening incident that needs immediate medical attention.
Changes in vision: Vision change is another medical condition that requires emergency attention. This is because the condition can be as a result of other underlying medical conditions. Other conditions that require emergency room visits are:
- Severe burn
- Sudden confusion
- Deep wound
- Severe allergic reaction
- Consistent high fever
- Suicidal thoughts seizures
- Coughing blood
- Pregnancy or vaginal bleeding
How Much Cost Is An ER Visit Without Insurance?
As we mentioned earlier, an ER visit without insurance will cost you an arm and leg. On average, this cost can be $150 to $3000. However, this cost can exceed depending with your condition, tests required, number of staffs involved in your treatment and equipment used. Below is the average cost of an ER visit based on your treatment, state or services offered.
1. Average Cost of Common Conditions Treated
Just like any medical visit, the average cost of an ER visit is greatly determined with the severity of the condition being treated. For instance, intense medical conditions that require a surgery or critical care are more expensive compared to moderate or minor conditions. I mean, the cost of low conditions such as minor viral infections can be as low as $150 in some hospitals. The cost of mid- or moderate level medical conditions is averagely $400. The cost of high level medical conditions like chest pain or severe burn, can be as high as $1000. When it comes to critical medical conditions that requires a surgery, the average cost of an ER visit can escalate as high as $20,000. Below are other common conditions treated in an Emergency room and their average cost:
|Common conditions||Emergency room visit average cost|
|Low back pain||$751|
|Removal of sutures||$343|
2. Average Cost of Common Services
The average cost of an ER visit also varies depending with the services offered during your treatment. For instance, if your condition requires just an X-ray, you will pay les compared to that patient that requires stiches. If you are suffering from broken bones, you will pay more compared to a chest pain patient. Below is a break down on the average cost of these common services:
|Common services||ER visit average cost|
|X-Ray||$5260 to $460|
3. Average ER Visit Cost by State
Besides the above discussed factors, the average cost of an ER visit also varies depending with your state of residence. The cost of an ER visit in some states is definitely higher compared to other states. After doing a comprehensive research on the cost of an ER in various states, we came with a list of states and their average cost of visiting an ER, from the highest to the lowest:
- In Florida, you will pay an average cost of $3,102
- In new Jersey, you will pay an average cost of $3,087
- In California, you will pay an average cost of $2960
- In Colorado you will pay an average cost of $2886
- Nevada, you will pay an average cost of $2583
- Texas, you will pay an average cost of $2318
- Arizona, you will pay an average cost of $2283
- Idaho, you will pay an average cost of $2,159
- Hawaii, you will pay an average cost of $2,076
- Alaska, you will pay an average cost of $2,070
- Virginia, you will pay an average cost of $1,941
- Tennessee, you will pay an average cost of $1,883
- Washington DC, you will pay an average cost of $1,879
- Illinois, you will pay an average cost of $1,818
- New Hampshire, you will pay an average cost of $1,787
- South Carolina, you will pay an average cost of $1,758
- Rhode island, you will pay an average cost of $1,750
- Kentucky, you will pay an average cost of $1,740
- Missouri, you will pay an average cost of $1, 717
- New York, you will pay an average cost of $1,668
- South Dakota, you will pay an average cost of $1,641
- Indiana, you will pay an average cost of $1,618
- Georgia, you will pay an average cost of $1,596
- Delaware, you will pay an average cost of $1,596
- South Carolina, you will pay an average cost of $1,589
- Mississippi, you will pay an average cost of $1,583
- New Mexico, you will pay an average cost of $1,574
- Alabama, you will pay an average cost of $1,496
- Connecticut, you will pay an average cost of $1,493
- Utah, you will pay an average cost of $1,464
- Oregon, you will pay an average cost of $1,434
- Ohio, you will pay an average cost of $1,435
- Kansas, you will pay an average cost of $1,294
- Michigan, you will pay an average cost of $1,273
- North Dakota, you will pay an average cost of $1,245
- Montana, you will pay an average cost of $1,138
- West Virginia, you will pay an average cost of $1,127
- Maine, you will pay an average cost of $952
- Maryland, you will pay an average cost of $ 623
How Depend On ER Visit Costs Emergency Severity Index (ESI) Levels
In an emergency room, there are five levels of care given to patients, depending on their current condition. Level 1 care represents severe treatments while level 5 care represents treatments of minor conditions. Each of these care or levels have different cost just as illustrated in the table below:
|ESI 1||Represents illnesses that are a threat to human life or their psychological functioning||An average cost of $1,450|
|ESI 2||Represents severe sicknesses that require emergency evaluation but are not so much of a threat to human life or their physical function. However, when left untreated, there is a high possibility of extreme impairment||An average cost of $870|
|ESI 3||Represents sicknesses with low risks and upon treatment, a full recovery is guaranteed. However, if left untreated, the patient is likely to develop small complications||Average cost of $650|
|ESI 4||Represents sicknesses with minor or limited problems with no health or death risk expected||Average cost of $400|
|ESI 5||Represents very minor illnesses that will run its course or fade away on its own.||Average cost of $150|
Does Insurance Coverage ER Visits?
Yes, fortunately, emergency room visits are usually covered by most health insurance in the US. In fact, Obamacare or The Affordable Care Act instructed all plans to ensure emergency treatments. Although insurance covers the cost of an ER visit, it’s important to state that these plans cover a certain percentage of your ER bill. Typically, the percentage covered depends with the category of your insurance. There are four major insurance categories. These are bronze, silver, gold and platinum.
For bronze, the insurance covers 60% of your ER bill while the patient covers the remaining 40%. For silver, insurance covers 70% of your ER bill while the patient covers the remaining 30%. For Gold, insurance covers 80% of the ER bill while the patient covers 20%. For platinum, insurance covers 90% of your bill while the patient clears the remaining 10%.
Alternatives Way To The Emergency Room
When it comes to medical care, ER is not the only option available. There are other alternative ways to emergency room that you should try. In fact, these alternative ways are cheaper and help to save on cost. Here are other alternative ways to the emergency room:
- Primary care provider: Primary care providers are amazing alternatives to emergency room. However, note that this alternative is only suitable for illnesses that are not life-threatening. When you have a disturbing health condition that is not life-threatening, you can book an appointment with your PCP, who will send your prescribed medication or send a local agent for immediate help. Primary care providers are cheaper compared to visiting an ER.
- Urgent care: This is another incredible alternative to emergency room. Urgent care is also cheaper and cost effective unlike ER visits. However, Urgent Care is not suitable for life-threatening problems. If you have minor health problems like ear infection, migraine, minor burns or sore through, you can visit an Urgent Care center and save the huge cost of visiting an ER.
- Telemedicine visit: Telemedicine is treatment method that entails use of technology to send medical care from to a patient regardless of their location. If you are experiencing minor health conditions like rashes, vomiting, insects bite, sore throats of mild allergies, you can call for help through telemedicine.
- Health clinics: If you are concerned about the high cost of visiting an ER or other medical care options, you can locate a free health clinic near you. You can visit the national association of free and charitable clinics, NAFC official website, enter your city, state or ZIP code and locate a free health clinic around you.
Factors That Contribute To ER Bills
There are several factors that affect the cost of an ER visit. There are factors like:
1. Costs Depend on the Facility and Location
Emergency rooms use different equipment to attend to the patients. The staffs in every emergency room are also different. This determines the cost of your ER bill based on the type of supplies that they are using or the types of staffs employed.
Location is another factor that determines your ER bills. As seen above, the cost of an ER depends with your state. Therefore, your ER bills in locations like Florida and California are expected to be higher that ER bills in Maine.
2. Insurance Coverage
Your insurance plan category will also greatly determine your ER bill. As seen above, insurance plans cover a certain percentage of Your ER bill, leaving the patient to cover the rest. Therefore, if you select low-premium insurance coverage, you will end up paying huge bills, out of your pocket. This is unlike patients that choose high monthly premium insurance coverage. Patients with such insurance coverage end up paying less, out of their pocket.
3. Lack of Price Transparency
When you visit an ER, your bills will not be provided upfront. Instead, doctors or medical staff are left to determine your ER bill. If these staffs are less accountable, you might end up paying huge ER bills.
4. Running an Emergency Room is Very Expensive
As you probably know, running an ER is not a walk in the pack. The cost associated with running an ER throughout the day is so high. From paying high skilled staff to paying huge costs on water, food, medical care, and equipment, there are a lot of factors that make running an emergency room very expensive. Unfortunately, the high cost of running an ER is usually passed to patients, contributing to huge ER bills.
How To Reduce Emergency Room Bills Without Insurance
If you need a reduced emergency room bill with no insurance, you can talk to your medical providers to reduce your emergency room bills through offering you a discount. You can also reduce your emergency room bill without insurance by vesting an emergency room in a different state. Since some states charge less than others, you can consider visiting a different state with lesser ER cost. These are states like Maine and Maryland. You can also reduce your emergency room bill without insurance by enrolling for programs that offer financial assistance on healthcare, for low-income patients. However, you must meet the programs’ eligibility requirements to receive these benefits.
Last but not least, the federal government passed NSA bill (No Surprise Act) that helps to improve the transparency on healthcare cost. This is a very effective remedy to decrease the uncertainty of medical bills.
FAQ’s on Emergency Room
Does insurance cover the cost of an ER visit?
Yes, just as we have stated above, insurance covers the cost on an ER visit. However, your insurance won’t cover the entire cost of your ER visit but covers a certain percentage, depending on your monthly premium rate.
What is the average cost of an ER visit?
The average cost of an ER visit depends on your insurance, medical condition, and state among other factors. Precisely, your average cost of an ER visit without insurance is roughly $150 to $3000. If you are covered by insurance, your average cost of an ER visit would be $50 to $150
How much does urgent care cost?
As of 2023, the average urgent care cost is roughly $100 to $150. However, the price may vary depending on your condition, the location of your urgent care center, clinic costs among other factors.