Skip to main content

Emergency Room Visits

Wellcare is your trusted partner in care. We want to make sure you know how and where to get care when you need it.

If you get sick or hurt, you have several options that are less expensive than visiting a hospital emergency room. For issues that aren't life threatening but require immediate attention, you can find urgent care centers in our provider directory, called the Wellcare Medicare Provider and Pharmacy Directory.

We want you to know that some freestanding medical facilities may look like Urgent Care Centers, but they are actually freestanding Emergency Rooms and charge the same rates as hospitals. You will find freestanding Emergency Rooms under hospital listings in the provider directory, but you won't find them under Urgent Care Centers.

Please consider these options before visiting an emergency room:

Primary Care Physician

Your PCP is your main doctor. If you don't need medical care right away, you can call the office and sched­ule your visit. You may also visit for health issues like asthma or diabetes.


This is your 24-hour access to in-network Wellcare providers. It's available when you're at home, at work or on vacation. Get medical advice, a diagnosis or a prescription by phone or video. Call 1-888-570-8304 (TTY: 711) or go to the MD Live website to activate your Telehealth benefit or to schedule your online visit.

Wellcare's 24/7 Nurse Advice Line

Connect with nurse practitioners to chat about symptoms and get advice on what to do next. Call the Nurse Advice Line any time of day or night 1-800-581-9952 (TTY: 711).

Call the Nurse Advice Line if you need:

  • Answers to questions about your health
  • To determine whether you should see a doctor immediately

In-Network Urgent Care Centers

Go to these if your PCP's office is closed and you need care for a noncritical health issue like flu symptoms with vomiting, ear infections, high fevers and sprains. Search for in-network Urgent Care Centers with our Find a Provider tool.

These examples show how you could save money by visiting an Urgent Care Center for less critical issues instead of an Emergency Room:

Example 1 Wellcare Non-Emergency Emergency
Service Urgent Care Emergency Room
Member Cost $  50.00 $    120.00
Plan Cost $ 150.24 $ 1,287.93
Example 2 Wellcare Non-Emergency Emergency
Service Urgent Care Emergency Room
Member Cost $  25.00 $    120.00
Plan Cost $ 142.91 $ 1,265.82

When to go to the Emergency Room:

Please go to the emergency room right away for life-threatening conditions. These include issues like broken bones, bleeding that won't stop, chest pains or heart attack symptoms, labor pains or other bleeding (if pregnant) and shock symptoms (sweat, thirst, dizziness, pale skin).

Others include drug overdose, injecting poison, bad burns, convulsions or seizures and difficulty breathing. 

As a consumer protection measure, freestanding Emergency Rooms are required to post signs that say: "THIS IS A HOSPITAL EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT," and "THIS IS NOT AN URGENT CARE CENTER. HOSPITAL EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT RATES ARE BILLED FOR OUR SERVICES."

Contact Us icon

Need help? We're here for you.

Contact Us
Y0020_WCM_134133E_M Last Updated On: 9/29/2023
On April 22, 2024, UnitedHealth Group issued a press release, providing an update on the Change Healthcare cybersecurity incident that occurred on Feb. 21, 2024. Given the size of the data impacted, the investigation to determine whose data is impacted is expected to take several months. UnitedHealth Group believes this situation will impact “a substantial proportion of people in America” and is offering immediate credit monitoring and identity protection services, as well as a dedicated contact center to address questions. Visit Change Healthcare Cyberattack Support and/or reach out to the contact center at 1-866-262-5342 regarding any questions.