The Medicaid Call Center will be closed on Monday, July 4

We will not be taking calls on Monday, July 4, due to the holiday.

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Get the Right Care at the Right Time

Where do you go when your ear aches or you sprain your ankle or develop a rash?

You have choices. And some choices are more practical than others. Some people automatically visit the emergency room when a walk-in clinic or a telehealth visit would be faster and more economical. Check out your care options below.

Keep these things in mind:

  • In general, it's always a good idea to see—or at least call—your primary care provider
  • If you had a severe or life-threatening injury or illness, go the ER or call 911 immediately
  • A letter of approval from BCBSND is needed for:
    • Medical services outside of North Dakota that could be provided in North Dakota.
    • Medical services from an out-of-network provider that could be provided with an in-network provider.


Doctor's office—use your main doctor for preventive

How are you feeling on a scale of 0 to 10? Good, 0 or 2.

Use this care for prevention

You have been assigned a main doctor, also called a primary care provider (PCP), who you see first. See your PCP for preventive care when you're not sick, things like:

  • Check-ups
  • Physicals
  • Health screenings
  • Medication refills
  • Care for health conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma and other chronic conditions
  • Immunizations
How are you feeling on a scale of 0 to 10? 4, not that good.

Visit your doctor's office for minor illness

You also see your PCP for routine care. If you need to see someone else, your PCP can help you find the right care. Examples of routine care:

  • Allergies
  • Ear, nose or throat pain
  • Minor fevers or burns
  • Care for health conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure or asthma
  • Other non-life-threatening problems

Telehealth—get care from wherever you are

How are you feeling on a scale of 0 to 10? 4, not that good.

Use this care for less severe illness

Telehealth means you can talk to a doctor 24/7 without leaving your home. You can have a visit in minutes using your computer, tablet or smartphone. If your regular health care provider offers telehealth visits, use their services. Telehealth visits work well for conditions such as:

  • Acne
  • Bronchitis
  • Flu
  • Mental health counseling
  • Nutrition
  • Pink eye
  • Rashes and skin conditions

See the steps for making a telehealth appointment in the Medicaid Expansion Member Handbook.

24-hour nurse line—get answers after hours

How are you feeling on a scale of 0 to 10? 4, not that good.

Use this line for answers when your doctor's office is closed

If you're not sure whether to get routine, walk-in or emergency care, call your main doctor. If their office is closed, call the BCBSND 24-hour nurse help line at 833-777-5779.

Walk-in clinic—for serious problems after hours

How are you feeling on a scale of 0 to 10? 6, bad.

Use walk-in clinics, or "urgent care clinics," when problems are serious but not life-threatening. Call your main doctor first—they will know if you should get walk-in clinic care for problems like:

  • Ear infections
  • Low back pain
  • Flu
  • Fever
  • Sore throat

Do you need a ride to the doctor? Call 833-777-5779.

Emergency room—get care in a crisis

How are you feeling on a scale of 0 to 10? 8, very bad.

Use the Emergency room for serious, sudden, or life-threatening issues
Emergency issues can include:

  • Severe pain
  • Chest pain
  • Breathing problems
  • Bleeding that will not stop
  • Coughing or throwing up blood
  • Sudden loss of strength
  • Severe burns that can be life threatening if you don't get care immediately

Mental health crisis

How are you feeling on a scale of 0 to 10? 6, bad.

Use this number when your behavior puts you at risk of hurting yourself or others. Call 833-777-5779.

  • Substance use
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Depression
  • Relationship conflict
  • Stress
  • Isolation
  • Emotional trauma

Your call is answered by a professional counselor. If your problem can’t be solved on the phone, a mobile crisis team can come to you where you are.

The team’s goal is to quickly stabilize the crisis and help avoid a person’s risk of harm to self or others. They will also suggest ways to get help after the crisis is over.