Monthly Healthcare Subscription Service? New options for your family medical needs

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Health insurance can be expensive for families and employers. But did you know there are other ways to protect yourself and avoid paying a tax penalty? There is a concierge medicine that gives you exclusive access to your family doctor, a real VIP service. And there’s direct primary care, which includes all specialty treatments at a more affordable price.

dr Bhavana Rao wanted to be a doctor to help people and really get to know her patients. Today, in traditional family medicine, it is not always possible.

“If you have a 15 minute visit and you have five topics to discuss. It’s hard for everyone you know,” said Dr. rao

She is married to businessman Sunil Vashsist. They never thought they would one day be colleagues until the idea of ​​direct primary care, aka a monthly subscription for doctors, came along. You pay monthly subscriptions for all kinds of services, so why not use this for your doctor?

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How much does direct medical care really cost?

“Direct family doctor practices do not issue invoices or invoices for consultations, two insurance companies. And it’s a lot more affordable,” said Dr. rao

Direct primary care offers an affordable alternative (KPRC 2)

With direct primary care, you pay an annual or monthly fee and can receive benefits such as same-day appointments, calls, and/or texts with your doctor. This can be at any time of the day or night.

“Yes, the only doctor I’ve ever had or know of will text like she will text to make sure we’re okay. Or if we have a question. We text her. And she’ll get back to us within a short time, I mean probably within half an hour,” said patient Jeff Newkirk.

What about the health care for the children?

The Newkirk family has used this type of medical care for years. Your kids can use the service too and they don’t even live here!

“We have three college kids. And if they have a problem, they can just know, they call me and they’re like, “Hey mom, I feel this way.” And I say well contact Dr. rao And they do, and she takes care of everything virtually,” said Diane Newkirk.

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The Newkirk family says they no longer need traditional health insurance. It might be a scary thought, but Sunil says it could work for many families.

“We know car insurance is for accidents, home insurance, we know if it’s something we can pay out of our own pocket and fix. We don’t go to insurance. But health insurance in this country is designed in such a way that you have to use it for everything. And insurance is not built for that, insurance is built for something that is rare,” said Sunil Vashsist.

How does direct supply differ from traditional insurance?

Let’s break this down. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, the average person pays $7,470 for health insurance each year. Plus co-payments, prescriptions and whatever else it takes to meet your deductible. To compare this to direct primary care, the average annual cost for an entire family at Meridian Springs Primary Care is $21,342.

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How much is the monthly membership fee?

“It’s $75 for an adult, and we have discounted rates for children, for kids under 21, and that’s $15 per child,” said Dr. rao

We looked around and $75 is about average for a direct basic supply. Some direct accesses cost a little more or less, but most are in this stadium. If you pay $75 a month for a year. A family of four would pay about $2,160. This is without any insurance for emergency hospitalization or surgery.

Newkirk says his family will not consider going back to old premium health insurance.

“No way. No, because it’s so stressful. You know, the old way is stressful. You never know which specialist you can go to, what’s going to be covered here. You know, you know, Dr. Rao will Be there. She’s approachable. She knows you as a person and as a patient because she cares about you and takes her time. There’s no substitute for that,” Newkirk said.

CONNECTED: More about direct primary care

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What if you need a specialist?

If you’re someone who needs special care like dialysis, a cancer patient, or someone with an autoimmune disease, this type of medicine probably isn’t for you. But if you’re in the vast majority who only need basic care and prescription generics, this can save you money. Many direct GPs network with each other to find specialists who either offer a discount for out-of-pocket patients. Newkirk says if the family needs special care, Dr. Rao them in the right direction.

“She’s got doctors that she puts you in touch with, or places that give someone who doesn’t have insurance some sort of discount, you know, the general public. And you know, that saves you money,” said Diane Newkirk.

CONNECTED: Affordable healthcare for those in need

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How are the costs of prescriptions covered?

(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, file) (Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Surprisingly, many prescriptions could already be cheaper without insurance. dr Rao encourages patients to use GoodRX.com to find coupons for inexpensive drugs. If you qualify for Medicare, you can also purchase insurance plans that specifically cover prescription drugs.

CONNECTED: Prescription drug subscription service

CONNECTED: Apps to save on prescription drugs

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