Let’s face it: Life rarely goes as planned. That’s why it’s good to be prepared for the unexpected. It’s why we practice fire drills, keep savings accounts and pay for car insurance.
But do you know what you would do if you’re on Medicare and encounter an urgent health need?
As always, if it’s an emergency, drop everything and call 9-1-1. For many needs that aren’t emergencies but are still time-sensitive, it’s a good idea to contact your primary care provider first; same-day appointments often are available for immediate health issues.
If that’s not possible, though, or if it’s after your doctor’s normal hours, there are a number of urgent-care clinics in the Whatcom County area that will see patients on Medicare.
If you’re a current patient of Family Care Network, Sea Mar Community Health or Unity Care Northwest, you can get into their clinics and pay with Medicare.
If you’re not a patient of one of those organizations, your options in Whatcom County are the Walk-In Health Clinic on Cornwall Avenue in Bellingham, Village Family Health Clinic in Fairhaven, Bellingham Internal Medicine in Fairhaven, the PeaceHealth Same Day Clinic on Squalicum Parkway in Bellingham and the nearby emergency room at PeaceHealth St. Joseph Hospital.
Before you go, please confirm times with the clinics, as hours may change.
These clinics take Medicare:
- Walk-In Health Clinic: Located in Bellingham; open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- PeaceHealth Same Day Care Clinic: Located in Bellingham; open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- PeaceHealth St. Joseph Hospital Emergency Room: Located in Bellingham; open daily, 24 hours.
- Village Family Health Clinic: Located in Fairhaven; open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Bellingham Internal Medicine Walk-In Clinic: Located in Fairhaven; open Saturday and Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
These clinics also take Medicare, but you must be a current patient:
- Family Care Network Urgent Care Center: Located in Bellingham; open from 1 to 9 p.m. on weekdays, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on holidays.
- Sea Mar Community Health Clinic – Bellingham: Located in Bellingham; open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Monday and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
- Sea Mar Community Health Clinic – Everson: Located in Everson; open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, with extended hours (until 9 p.m.) on Thursday.
- Unity Care Northwest – Bellingham: Located in Bellingham; open from 7:45 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 7:45 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday. On the first Thursday of each month, the center opens at 8:45 a.m.
- Unity Care Northwest – Ferndale: Located in Ferndale; open from 7:45 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. On the first Thursday of each month, the center opens at 9:15 a.m.
These clinics do not take Medicare:
If you know of any other urgent-care clinics in Whatcom County that are currently accepting Medicare, please let us know so we can add them to this list and share them with Whatcom County senior citizens.