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ER Alternatives

Need Care Now? You Have Options.

If you believe you need emergency care, call 911 immediately or go directly to the nearest emergency room. For non-emergency care, you can get the help you need through these resources:

Is your illness or injury life-threatening?



Call 911 or go to the ER.

Are you in severe pain (e.g., broken limb, deep cut, severe burn)?



Go to an urgent care center. They’re typically open after hours and weekends.

Is it a common or minor illness like a sore throat, fever, earache, sinus infection or allergies?



Try one of these options:

  1. See a doctor 24/7 through LiveHealth Online without leaving home. (You can even get prescriptions.)
  2. Go to a retail health clinic/MinuteClinic for faster and less expensive care than an ER.
  3. Make an appointment with your primary care physician.

Not sure what type of care is right for your situation?

Call the Anthem Nurseline 24/7 to discuss your medical issue with a board-certified nurse.

LiveHealth Online

With LiveHealth Online®, you can speak with a U.S. board-certified doctor through an online video chat on your computer or mobile device.

Anthem 24/7 NurseLineSM

Available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, Anthem 24/7 NurseLine takes the guesswork out of health problems. When you call, you get instant access to registered nurses who can help you deal with medical issues 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Call (800) 977-0027 for immediate answers and reliable information about:

  • Your symptoms
  • Minor illnesses and injuries
  • Medications and side effects
  • Reliable self-care home treatments
  • When to go to your doctor, and when to go to the ER
  • Chronic conditions
  • Medical tests
  • Preventive care
  • Self-help and support groups
  • Wellness information

What you pay: There's no cost to you for this service.

Urgent Care

Instead of going to the Emergency Room, consider visiting an urgent care center—it can save you time and money.

Many urgent care centers are open after business hours and on weekends. Plus, you can expect fast and personalized treatment from qualified professionals for conditions like:

  • Cough, sore throat and respiratory infections
  • Earaches
  • Back pain and body aches
  • Colds, sinus infections and allergies
  • Rashes, minor cuts and scrapes

What you pay: After you meet the plan's deductible, you pay 20% of the cost. On average, that's $143 (based on Anthem 2018 claims data for California).

To find an in-network urgent care center, search Anthem or call Anthem 24/7 Nurse Line at (800) 977-0027.

Retail Health Clinics

Many retail pharmacies also offer on-site health clinics. Clinicians can evaluate and treat most minor conditions (including prescribing medicine) including flu and cold symptoms, rashes, minor allergic reactions, pinkeye, urinary tract infections and minor cuts and burns. Most can see you nights and weekends, and accept walk-ins.

What you pay: After you meet the plan's deductible, you pay 20% of the cost. On average, that's $72 (based on Anthem 2018 claims data for California).