Getting care 24/7
Where to go for the care you need
When you need care right away, there are a lot of places to get help besides the emergency room (ER). An urgent care center can treat many things people often take to the ER.
In an emergency, always call 911. Otherwise, call your primary care provider (PCP) or the 24-hour Nurse HelpLine — they can tell you where to go for urgent, sick or routine care.
Your primary care provider (PCP) is listed on your ID card. He or she will:
- Get to know you and your health history
- Work with you to find specialists, treatment plans and medicines when needed
When you’re sick or hurt, always call your PCP first (unless it’s an emergency). Even if you call after hours, someone from the office should be on call and able to help.
If you haven’t seen your PCP before, call and make a new patient appointment as soon as you can. It’s a good idea to see your doctor when you’re well, so he or she can better treat you when you aren’t.
You can change your PCP anytime.
24-hour Nurse HelpLine
1-800-600-4441 (TTY 711)
Our 24-hour Nurse HelpLine lets you call and speak with a nurse 24 hours a day, 7 days a week — even on holidays.
A registered nurse can help:
- Answer questions about health concerns
- Find a doctor, urgent care center or walk-in clinic
- Schedule an appointment with your doctor or another doctor in our plan
Urgent or after-hours care
An urgent health condition is not an emergency, but it needs medical attention within 24 hours. Call your PCP if you need urgent care. Your PCP will tell you what to do. He or she may tell you to come into the office right away, go to an urgent care center or go to the emergency room.
You may need urgent care if you have:
- Minor burns
- A very sore throat
- An injury from a fall
- Frequent vomiting
- A cut that’s deep enough to need stitches
- A fever over 101 degrees Fahrenheit
- Muscle sprains or strains
To find an urgent care center near you, use our Find a Doctor search tool.
Emergencies are times when there could be serious danger or damage to your health if you don’t get medical care right away. If you need emergency care, call 911 or go to the nearest hospital emergency room (ER).
Go to the ER if you:
- Have chest pains
- Have trouble breathing
- Are bleeding badly
- Are pregnant and have signs of harm to yourself or your baby like pain, bleeding, fever or vomiting
- Feel like you might hurt yourself or someone else
Call your PCP as soon as you can after you get out of the ER or urgent care center. Your PCP can help you get follow-up care.
Behavioral health care
You do not need to see your PCP before getting behavioral health services. We can help you find mental health and substance use services. Call us toll free at 1-800-600-4441 (TTY 711).
You can also call Maryland’s Public Mental Health System at 1-800-888-1965. This toll-free help line is open 24-hours a day, 7 days a week. Staff members are trained to handle your call and will help you get the services you need.