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When we travel home to visit family, it’s always a concern that everyone stays healthy on the trip. To travel from where we live now to our home towns is no walk in the park. In fact, it usually requires either a 26 hour car trip or a plane trip with at least three layovers. Luckily for us Walgreens Healthcare Clinic Madison and Milwaukee are both close to where my husband’s from in case we have a late night emergency. 
We have made the trip several times now with no problems, but when we went home last fall, we weren’t so lucky. My husband was struck with the stomach flu the entire week we were gone. At the same time, I ate some bad deli broccoli salad and was out with food poisoning. Soon after flying home I was then struck with the stomach flu, and two weeks after recovering, my daughter and I were BOTH hit with a different strain of the stomach flu. When I thought we were out of the park, she developed croup and was coughing for a month while we were trying to pinpoint what was going on with her. Did I mention we all got flu shots this year? And we take our vitamins? Just bad luck…

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I wish we had known last fall about Walgreens Healthcare Clinic! No matter where we live, we always get our prescriptions at the Walgreens Pharmacy, so it would just make sense to go there for treatment as well. Especially when you’re out of town, it’s difficult to be seen by a doctor unless you go to the emergency room. 
I think it’s so cool that they have a list of things their health care professionals will treat. You can view it here. In the past, I’ve had many ailments on that list- corneal abrasions, sinus infections, allergies, and one time a terrible splinter I needed removed (my dog’s toenail after he stepped on me once…long, disgusting, story) and for all of these issues, I’ve needed an appointment. Sometimes, a girl just wants to be seen RIGHT NOW. Most of what I need to be seen for is not emergency-room worthy, but I don’t exactly want to be walking around with pink eye if I can help it. 

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My favorite part is the prices. I am certain that my insurance company is out to screw me over every time I go to the doctor. I recently took my daughter to the emergency room after she power puked eight times in one hour. The hospital charged my insurance company $633 for the visit, during which she was given two anti nausea pills. A patient exam covering “illness” costs between $79-89. If you are a patient who pays out of pocket, this is truly the ideal situation for you. I have friends who are currently struggling with figuring out what the Affordable Care Act will be doing with their health care, and they are currently not covered as they wait to be accepted into their new plan. Imagine the panic of having a lapse in your healthcare and being forced to pay out of pocket! Walgreens Healthcare Clinic has an actual price list that is very specific based upon what you need. They also accept most insurance plans and you can look it up right online to see if they take yours.    
Just for fun I walked through the steps of setting up an appointment. I pretended I had an illness and needed to be seen within 40 miles of my in-laws house tomorrow morning. There were several available times open for me at three different clinics. Wow! And you are even able to submit your payment information online.  
I am so glad that these Walgreens Healthcare Clinics are popping up all over the nation. There are currently 400 locations and I can’t wait until they start expanding this idea everywhere. You can check to see if there is a clinic near you. Next time I travel I know I will be covered! 

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