If you are looking for health insurance, you have to know what it is, how to choose it and the benefits of each type of insurance. Direct primary care is an alternative to traditional health insurance, and many people, both patients and providers, are switching to this method.
Before we jump right in, it’s important to note that in the United States, traditional health insurance pays for medical expenses incurred by the insured or on behalf of the insured. It can be provided through private enterprise or through social welfare programs. The health insurer may be an organization (e.g., hospital) or individual (e.g., doctor).
There are many types of health insurances, each with different benefits and prices. Some provide more coverage than others, some have higher deductibles and copays than others, some offer coverage in other countries while others don’t provide any coverage outside of the United States or Canada.
So let’s break down the basics of direct primary care.
What is Direct Primary Care?
Direct primary care is a type of health coverage or membership that focuses on managing chronic conditions and providing preventative care.
This model is designed to provide high-quality healthcare to those who need it most, and offers a simple, flat, and affordable membership fee. It is an alternative to the traditional health insurance model that has been in place for decades.
It creates a trusting relationship between the patient and their primary care provider, and eliminates fee-for-service insurance billing, which is an exciting aspect that people truly love about this model.
Common Benefits for the Patient
This model is great because it’s a win-win for both the patient and the provider. At 180 Healthcare, we help our members determine the best membership for them and their families.
Patients utilize this model because it provides them with an overall better experience when they visit their provider. They report a higher satisfaction rate — from the moment they schedule their appointment, to the time spent in the exam room with their provider. Patients who see a provider that follow this method report lower wait times, and feel more satisfied with their visits.
One of the biggest benefits of a direct primary care provider is that the patient has a greater say in who takes care of them. It eliminates the need for an insurance company to act as the middleman between the patient and provider.
Benefits for the Provider
Both patients and providers feel the stress and burden of dealing with insurance companies. So much time is spent on billing and third-party-payers that it can oftentimes be a nightmare and result in burnout. For many of the same reasons patients might choose this method, providers will choose it too!
The direct primary care provider gets to go back to the basics of why they got involved in medicine in the first place — to treat the patient as a whole. They get to focus on exclusive time with the patient in each room and aren’t worried about rushing from one exam room to the next.
Overhead costs for the practice have decreased in these clinics because more time is spent on the patient and less time on the billing, coding, and the paperwork that comes with insurance companies. The monthly, quarterly, or annual membership options available to individuals who choose this method make it far less daunting for both the provider and the patient.
Concierge Medicine Vs. Direct Primary Care
There are plenty of non-traditional forms of insurance. A lot of people often use the phrases “direct primary care” and “concierge medicine” synonymously, but they are actually quite different. While they both provide an approach that is based on membership fees, a lot of times the concierge approach will continue to bill insurance companies on top of the agreed upon membership fees.
Concierge health insurance is a type of private health insurance that is usually paid for by an employer. It pays for services beyond the basic coverage offered by traditional health insurance. It typically costs more than traditional health insurance and has a narrower network of providers.
Some employers offer concierge health insurance as an option to their employees as a way to provide extra benefits that are not covered by traditional health insurance plans.
The direct primary care model is aimed at lowering the cost of health insurance for individuals who are looking for a more cost-effective approach. The concierge method is typically geared toward higher income individuals who are required to still have insurance. The cost of the concierge method is on average much higher than the direct primary care method, and on average, they’re seeing it is most beneficial to use the concierge method for individuals over the age of 50.
How to Decide the Best Plan For You
After sifting through this article, it will become quickly apparent there are so many options when it comes to choosing alternatives to traditional health insurance. There are pros and cons to each, and our platform at 180 Healthcare isn’t meant to sway you one way or another, but to provide you with the best options for you and your family and your current lifestyle.
At 180 Healthcare we are here to make the choices easy for you. We present you with the plans and your options, and we guide you so you can make an informed decision based on your unique needs.
It’s time to start leaning into a new way of thinking, and throw the old rulebooks out the window when it comes to healthcare coverage. Our team of experts knows what it takes to create a plan that is best fit for you, and regardless of your current state of life, we are here to simplify the process.
We know you have choices, and we’d appreciate the opportunity to sit down and discuss how we can optimize your healthcare coverage, while keeping rates and fees economical. Learn more about direct primary care and all of your healthcare options. Call (573) 803-4661 or contact us today to see how we can help you and your family.