Save the ER for Emergencies

Going to the emergency room (ER) or calling 9-1-1 is always the way to go when it’s truly an emergency. And we’ve got you covered for those situations.

Remember that you’ll be responsible for ER costs when it’s not an emergency. So if you need care but it’s not an emergency, try these other options. You can avoid a long wait and the higher costs that come with a non-emergency ER visit.

  1. Call your doctor. Your doctor may be the right place to start. After all, your doctor knows your story. You can make an appointment or speak to an on-call doctor.
  2. Check in at LiveHealth Online. Visit with a doctor any time 24/7 online using your smartphone, tablet or computer’s webcam when you have a common health condition. Register now at or on the LiveHealth Online mobile app.
  3. Go to a retail health clinic (often located inside a drug store or grocery store). Consider this when you have a rash, minor burns, cough, sore throat, minor allergic reactions, bumps, cuts, and scrapes, or when you need shots. Hours of operation vary.
  4. Head to an urgent care. This may be the right choice when you have back and joint pain, cough/cold, sinus or ear pain, sprains and strains or even need x-rays. They have flexible hours, including nights and weekends.

We know there are situations when the ER is the only option, so we’re including exceptions: members under the age of 14, ER visits directed by your doctor, ER visits between 8 p.m. Saturday and 8 a.m. Monday or on major holidays (i.e., bank holidays), or when the closest urgent care is more than 15 miles away.

Want to know more? Go to to search for care options near you or call the 24/7 Nurseline phone number printed on your Anthem ID card.

Questions? We’re here to help, so give us a call at the Member Services number on your ID card. You can also log in to for a closer look at your benefits.