Know Your Options

If you aren’t having an emergency, knowing where to go for medical care may save you on cost and time. Instead of going to the emergency room (ER) first, learn about other care options that may be better for the help you need.

Plus, when you visit doctors covered by your Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas health insurance, you may pay less for your care.

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    Unexpected injuries or illness can happen anytime, anywhere.

    Depending on the severity, knowing where to turn for the care you need can save you time and money. 

    Learn about your options.

Primary Care

Visiting your primary care provider (PCP) or doctor could help you save the most money when you need medical help.

  • Pay $0 for preventive services like annual check-ups, emotional wellbeing screenings and vaccines
  • You'll talk to the person who knows you and your medical history
  • You may want to schedule an appointment for health concerns like fever, colds or allergies, sore throat, stomach ache or sleep problems

You may only have to wait 20 minutes or less for care. Using an in-network doctor helps keep costs low.



Virtual Visit

Scheduling a virtual visit could help you save time and money. Normally, you'll be able to meet with a doctor in less than 20 minutes. With BCBSTX's virtual visit benefits, you can:

  • Easily meet with a doctor by phone, video or mobile app for non-emergency medical and behavioral health care1-2
  • Connect with an MDLIVE doctor for virtual care
  • Have an appointment with a doctor 24/7
  • Quickly get help for health concerns like an itchy rash, cold or flu, fevers or minor injuries.

Your doctor may have more telehealth options beyond your BCBSTX benefits. Check with them for virtual care services.



24/7 Bilingual Nurseline

Like virtual visits, the 24/7 Bilingual Nurseline is a quick and affordable way to get care in English or Spanish.

  • Bilingual, registered nurses are on call to answer your questions or concerns3
  • The Bilingual Nurseline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • You may want to call the Bilingual Nurseline to get advice about common concerns like allergies, cold or flu, fever, sore throat or stomach ache
  • Call the 24/7 Bilingual Nurseline at 1-800-581-0368

There's no wait — or cost — when you call for help.



Retail Clinic

You can find retail clinics, also known as walk-in clinics, inside many stores or pharmacies.

  • Retail clinics offer non-emergency care that's easy to access when you can't schedule an appointment with your doctor4
  • Clinic hours are based on retail store hours
  • You can rely on retail clinics for common health concerns like minor infections, vaccinations, minor injuries or sore throat



Urgent Care

Urgent care clinics can be more expensive than some other care options, and the wait may be longer than with your PCP or virtual care. Urgent care centers:

  • Can help when you need immediate attention for non-emergency health concerns
  • Normally offer evening, weekend and holiday hours
  • Provide help for concerns like cuts that need stitches, migraines, back pain, sprains, strain, animal bites or asthma

If you don't have access to an urgent care center, you can use MDLIVE as an urgent care alternative.



Emergency Room

Emergency rooms are typically the most expensive way to get care when you need help. Please note, going to a freestanding ER, or FSER, may cost more and be out of network. If you can, visit an ER connected to a hospital.

  • You should only visit emergency rooms if you're experiencing extreme or life-threatening symptoms
  • Emergency rooms are open 24 hours, 7 days a week
  • Visit an emergency room for symptoms like heart problems, chest pain, stroke symptoms, breathing problems, heavy bleeding, broken bones or sudden, severe pain

You may have to wait an hour or more. Even if you use an in-network ER, you can expect a higher bill for care.



Internet/Wi-Fi connection is needed for computer access. Data charges may apply. Check your cellular data or internet service provider’s plan for details. Non-emergency medical service in Idaho, Montana and New Mexico is limited to interactive audio/video (video only), along with the ability to prescribe. Non-emergency medical service in Arkansas is limited to interactive audio/video (video only) for initial consultation, along with the ability to prescribe. Behavioral Health service is limited to interactive audio/video (video only), along with the ability to prescribe in all states. Service availability depends on location at the time of consultation.

Virtual Visits, Powered by MDLIVE may not be available on all plans. Virtual Visits are subject to the terms and conditions of your benefit plan, including benefits, limitations, and exclusions. MDLIVE operates subject to state regulations and may not be available in certain states. MDLIVE is not an insurance product nor a prescription fulfillment warehouse. MDLIVE does not guarantee that a prescription will be written. MDLIVE does not prescribe DEA-controlled substances, non-therapeutic drugs and certain other drugs that may be harmful because of their potential for abuse. MDLIVE physicians reserve the right to deny care for potential misuse of services.

MDLIVE operates and administers the virtual visit program and is solely responsible for its operations and that of its contracted providers. MDLIVE and the MDLIVE logo are registered trademarks of MDLIVE, Inc. and may not be used without written permission.

Blue Cross®, Blue Shield® and the Cross and Shield symbols are registered service marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans.

3 The 24/7 Bilingual Nurseline may not be available with all plans. Check your benefits booklet for details. 

4 Visiting a Retail Clinic may not be covered with all plans. Check your benefits booklet for details.