Urgent care or the ER — how do you choose?
Learn how to choose the right care for your situation
The right place to get care depends on your situation. Here’s how to get the care you need, at the right time and in the right place.
Go to urgent care
Go to urgent care if you have a minor problem that can’t wait until the next business day. For example:
- Stomach pain
- High fever
- Sore throat or ear aches
- Minor cuts, skin infections and rashes
- Minor fractures, broken bones
Call 911 or go to the ER
Call 911 or go to the ER if you have:
- Trouble breathing
- Heavy bleeding
- Chest pain
- Sudden weakness, or have trouble talking
- Severe head injuries
- Major burns
- Sudden allergic reaction
If you’re not sure if you should go to the ER or urgent care, call your health plan’s nurse advice line. You can find the number on your health plan member ID card. Or see "Talk to a nurse 24/7" below.
Need help finding an urgent care location?
- Use our provider look-up tool.
- Go mobile: Visit the Android™ or Apple® app stores and download the Optum Care Finder app.
- Call Optum Care Network customer service:
Toll-free 1-888-767-2222 (TTY/TTD 1-800-735-2922)
Mon.–Fri., 8:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m. local time. Holiday hours vary.
Talk to a nurse 24/7
Most health plans offer a nurse advice line available 24/7. You can find your plan’s nurse line on your member ID card. We also have a list of nurse line phone numbers for common plans in your area.