How many people struggle with the cost of medical care? Families and employers are spending more for health insurance, medical treatment and other healthcare related goods than ever before. What’s even more frustrating is that the quality of those products and services is getting worse and worse.
Have you looked at the cost of health insurance premiums? The average cost for a policy increases by about 12% each year. If you’ve used the insurance, rates go up even more. Insurance coverage is also pushing more cost onto the covered person. They do this with higher deductibles and co-pays. The deductible is the amount the insured person pays for medical care before the insurance begins to pay for care. Co-pays are a fee paid whenever you receive care. The average deductible for a family is around $8,000 annually. Individual deductibles average $3500 annually. Consider that the vast majority of insured people never exceed the deductible amount each year, and you can see why this type of coverage is so appealing to the insurance industry.
Direct healthcare can be a great solution to make bad insurance better. Here’s how it works…
Direct healthcare is healthcare service purchased directly from the medical practice. It is not an insurance product but supplements the lack of coverage found in most insurance policies. In addition to the insurance premium, a flat monthly fee of around $65-$85 per month is paid to the medical practice. In exchange for this monthly payment, the medical practice provides unlimited and comprehensive medical care.
Patients benefit in big ways from this type of program. They can go to the doctor’s office as often as needed because there is no extra cost. Convenience is a big part of direct healthcare because telemedicine coverage is included. Texting, phone calls, email, and video chats are all options for connecting with the doctor and staff.
In addition to unlimited office visits and telemedicine coverage, direct healthcare saves people money in other ways. In the traditional model using health insurance, each service, test, and procedure is charged under what’s called “fee-for-service”. This means that in addition to the cost for the office visit, you are charged for almost anything else performed at that visit. The cost of these services, especially procedures, can add hundreds and even thousands of dollars to the cost of care. Direct healthcare provides these procedures, tests and services at no extra cost. They are included in the monthly fee.
One other area of costsavings is for things like laboratory testing (blood tests), imaging (x-ray/MRI/Ultrasound), and prescription medications. A direct healthcare program is similar is some ways to a Costco membership. Members receive huge savings on these items. For instance, the cost of many blood and other laboratory tests are around 90% less when purchased through a direct healthcare program. For example, any diabetic is familiar with the HgbA1C blood test. They should have it measured every 3-4 months. The cost of that test averages $35 when ran through insurance. The cost of that same test through a direct healthcare program is $6. When you remember that most people pay the deductible but rarely spend more than that each year, you can see how the savings add up with direct healthcare.
Direct healthcare can be a great solution if you don’t have insurance. While it won’t cover major health events like surgery or hospitalization, it will cover the majority of medical treatment most people need throughout the year.
Finally, for employers, direct healthcare is an inexpensive benefit that is a great investment in your work force. For about 0.50 cents per hour, your employees can have a benefit that attracts and retains talented workers, improves productivity, reduces lost work time, improves employee health, and reduces the cost of other benefits like health insurance.
To learn more about direct healthcare and how it can help you or your company, contact the leaders in direct healthcare at Next Direct Primary Care. They have been serving patients and companies for over 15 years providing quality, convenience, and savings.