Emergency rooms are open 24 hours a day for injuries or illnesses that pose a threat to someone’s life or long-term health. If you have a medical emergency, go to the closest hospital — you’ll be treated whether you have health insurance or not.
Often, when you go to an emergency room, you don’t have a choice about what doctor provides care. So, even if you have health insurance and go to an in-network emergency room, you may receive care from an out-of-network provider.
Fortunately, in emergency situations, health insurance companies can’t require you to get prior approval — and health plans cover a portion of emergency care, no matter where you are, even if you’re out of network. While the amount you owe is dependent on your health plan, insurance companies also can’t charge you more in co-payments or co-insurance if you receive emergency services out-of-network vs. in-network.