Sudden illness occurs when a medical ailment develops abruptly and unexpectedly in someone. Some symptoms of sudden illness include skin color changes, fever, nausea, vomiting, poor appetite, abdominal pain, etc. Since the nature of sudden illness is to strike fast, it’s hard to catch a breath before you're completely submerged in financial, physical, and mental exhaustion. To help, here are some things to keep in mind.
Emergency Room vs Urgent Care
The choice to go to an urgent care facility or an emergency room should be decided by two things: cost and type of emergency. You see, emergency rooms are equipped with all the bells and whistles of a traditional hospital. But they’re also legally required to treat any patient regardless if they have health insurance or are able to pay out-of-pocket for costs.
That being said, even if you can’t pay a portion of the bill up front, you will still be expected to pay afterwards. And though average costs vary by state and illness, an ER visit averages out to be roughly $2,000 nationwide—this far exceeds that of what you would pay at an urgent care.
Typically, a visit to an urgent care center costs, on average, $100-$150 per insured patient depending on the co-pay and how much treatment was needed. Even without insurance, the average cost still sits low at between $150-$200 depending on your needs. But there’s a kicker—an urgent care facility is limited on what they can treat. Since urgent care centers are more equipped to handle non-life-threatening conditions, it’s best to head to the ER if you’re experiencing any life-threatening symptoms.
The good news is that a short-term illness won’t keep you down for very long. Although it does go away relatively quickly, it’s not to say life won’t be difficult when you are sick—especially if work is less than forgiving with their sick leave policy or you have a family that still needs taking care of. But there are lots of things in place to help you manage.
How do I apply for short term disability?
Short-term disability is a type of insurance that is either offered through an employer or can be purchased on an individual basis through an agent or broker. This insurance covers anything from childbirth and physical injury to mental health. If offered through an employer, generally 40-80% of your salary is covered for a fixed amount of time (often 3, 6, or 12 months, depending on the policy).
Generally speaking, the first step to applying for short-term disability is to speak with your HR department—if you have disability insurance through your employer. Otherwise, call your insurance company directly. It’s possible that you’ll be required to use any available sick days before the short-term disability period begins. This may also be part of the elimination period which is a certain amount of time that you have to be injured or disabled before your benefits kick in.