frequently
asked questions

care essentials information

What is Care Essentials?

Care Essentials by Kaiser Permanente are convenient care clinics that provide nonemergency and preventive health services at affordable prices, right in your neighborhood.

When are Care Essentials clinics open?

We offer convenient weekday, evening, and weekend hours to fit your schedule. We are open Monday through Friday, 8am-8pm and Saturday through Sunday 9am-6pm.

How do Care Essentials clinics differ from urgent care clinics?

Care Essentials clinics:

  • Treat nonemergency health care needs, including minor illnesses (such as colds, flu, or strep) and injuries (such as minor cuts, burns, or sprains)
  • Provide preventive services, including checkups, vaccinations, and some lab and diagnostic testing

On the other hand, urgent care clinics:

  • Treat illnesses and injuries that are not life-threatening but require care within 24 hours when you can’t see your personal doctor
  • Typically offer on-site X-ray and imaging services

You can find a complete list of Care Essentials treatments and services here.

Who and What We Treat

Can I receive treatment at a Care Essentials clinic if I’m not a Kaiser Permanente member?

Absolutely! We provide high-quality, convenient care, whether you have Kaiser Permanente coverage or not. We welcome members and nonmembers alike and accept self-pay and all commercial health insurance plans. Before your appointment, we recommend checking with your insurance provider to confirm your coverage and eligibility.

Do you treat children at Care Essentials?

Yes! Care Essentials welcomes patients of all ages. We treat children for a full range of needs, including ear infections, pink eye, bug bites, rashes, minor cuts, and urinary tract infections.

I’m not sure Care Essentials provides the treatment or services I need. What can I do?

Click here for a list of treatments and services we provide. If you need treatment for a condition that is not listed, call us at 1-855-235-0491. If we can’t treat you, we will recommend another resource.

Appointments

Do I need an appointment, or can I just walk in?

For quicker access to care, we recommend making an appointment by booking online or calling 1-855-235-0491 (TTY 711).

You’re welcome to walk in any time we’re open to schedule an appointment in person, though the next available appointment might be later in the day or the following day.

Who will treat me during my appointment?

Every Care Essentials clinic is staffed by Kaiser Permanente board-certified physician assistants (PAs) and advanced registered nurse practitioners (ARNPs), who will care for you during your visit. In some cases, you may be seen by a physician (MD).

Insurance and Payments

What forms of payment do you accept?

We accept many major credit and debit cards, including health savings account (HSA) cards. Unfortunately, we can’t accept checks, cash, or money orders at Care Essentials.

Do I need to pay for my service or treatment at the time of my appointment?

We’d appreciate that. But if you can’t pay at the time of service, we’ll send you a bill.

Do you accept Medicare?

We accept Original Medicare (fee-for-service) and Kaiser Permanente Senior Advantage. If your Medicare Advantage health plan is other than Kaiser Permanente, you’ll need to seek care with your assigned provider.

Do you accept Medicaid?

We accept Medicaid Open Card and Kaiser Permanente Medicaid members. If your Medicaid health plan is other than Kaiser Permanente, you’ll need to seek care with your assigned provider.

Do you accept other insurance plans besides Kaiser Permanente?

Yes. We accept all commercial health insurance plans and as a courtesy to you, we will submit your bill to your insurance provider. We ask for a $25 payment at the time of the visit to cover likely copay or noncovered costs, and will bill you for any balance that your insurance provider does not pay. We recommend contacting your insurance provider to confirm your coverage and eligibility before seeing us.

Care Essentials is also part of the First Choice Health PPO network. If you have access to the First Choice Health network through your health plan, you can get treatment at Care Essentials for in-network rates, typically an office visit copay.

Search for Care Essentials at www.fchn.com and contact your insurance provider to confirm eligibility.