An illustration of an urgent care center on a nice day.
Home > Your best bet: Urgent care clinic

Your best bet: Urgent care clinic

Do you go to the emergency room when you or your family are sick or injured? Or is it best to try the urgent care clinic?

Check out this chart to see a symptom-based recommendation for where to go.

Some benefits of urgent care clinics include:

  • Speed: Expect a faster experience in and out, and avoid long wait times.
  • Convenience: Urgent care centers have extended hours and are likely close to your home or workplace.
  • Cost: A visit to the emergency room can be 4 times more expensive than urgent care.

Watch this short video to see how urgent care clinics work.


“Ouch! While chopping those onions for dinner you accidentally cut your finger. It hurts a lot and it’s bleeding badly. After a few minutes, you decide to head to the emergency room for stitches. But when you get there, you see the waiting room is full of really sick people. So you wait, and wait, and wait.

There’s a quicker and easier way to get the care you need. It’s called urgent care, and it’s the place to go when you need care now — like for your finger that needs stitches. An urgent care clinic will get you in and out in a fraction of the time you’d spend waiting in an ER. And at a fraction of the cost. For minor health problems, like cold, the flu, and earaches, retail clinics might also be an option.

In a true emergency, always head to the closest emergency room. For other healthcare needs, use Castlight online, in the mobile app, or over the phone to find the closest urgent care or retail clinic that’s part of your health plan. Make smart healthcare decisions with Castlight.”

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