Back in March I went to the ER because I thought I was having a bad reaction to the prednisone my primary care doctor prescribed for sciatica. It was late on a Monday night so I just drove to the ER. Well, I learned my lesson. My new individual policy under the Affordable Care Act does not pay for ER visits. They throw the charge into your deductible and mine is $2,500.00, so I am out-of-pocket $1,000.00 for the approximately 10 minutes total attention I received before the ER sent me home.
Next time, and I hope there is no next time, I'm going to Urgent Care or waking up my primary care doctor.
I also agree with Space-Plus that I've used my "chit" at the ER for the foreseeable future. Even if I had serious chest pain I would be reluctant to go back, not just because of the cost, but because when it turns out to just be panic I will feel humiliated again. (I know that defies common sense, but we anxious types have a hard way of distinguishing true symptoms from phantoms. With us it's more likely to be that anxiety monster and not real.)