Freestanding Emergency Rooms

It can be hard to tell the difference between a freestanding emergency room and an urgent care center, but choosing the right place to receive health care can save you money. We want to help you make smarter choices on where you receive health care. Listen to the message above from BCBSTX President Dr. Dan McCoy, and visit for more helpful tips.

You can also view or listen to our Blue Promise series on emergency care:

Show Transcript

A 42-year-old mother walked away with a prescription and a sense of relief. Her son had bronchitis and he would soon recover. But a month later, she received a bill for $3,000 and panic set in. It would take months to chip away at the bill. There’d be no new roof. And the leak above her bed would have to wait. This mom fell into the same ER trap as many other Texans. She confused a freestanding emergency room for an urgent care center. And when the receptionist said they “accept insurance,” she thought that meant they were “in-network.“ You can outsmart these misleading businesses. Unless you think you’re having a true emergency, go to a retail clinic or urgent care center. And always ask if they are “in network” with your insurance plan.

I’m Dr. Dan McCoy, President of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas. Let us help you make smarter choices on where you receive health care. Visit


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