Pay a monthly membership for health care

Posted at 12:05 AM, May 09, 2017

Choosing a health care plan has never been easy, but there’s a new trend in health care coverage that has more people taking a second look. 

It’s called Direct Primary Care and it’s derived from concierge medicine. More and more people have either signed up or are considering Direct Primary Care because they like the personalized attention that comes along with it. 

Dr. Michael Keller runs Summit Primary Care in Denver, Colorado where he charges patients a monthly fee to see him whenever they need. Adults over the age of 27 years old pay $89 a month, meanwhile those under 27 years old pay $59 a month. Their membership covers everything including lab tests. There are no co-pays at Dr. Keller’s office.

While there’s not a typical Direct Primary Care patient, the majority of people who use this method of coverage are usually between the ages of 30 to 60 years old. Some of Dr. Keller’s patients are even on Medicaid. 

James Disset is a patient of Dr. Keller and says the best part about Direct Primary Care is that he “can wake up on a Sunday morning with back pain and [he] can email Dr. Keller and he’s able to write [him] a prescription.”

Mainstream health care providers like Kaiser Permanente are taking notice to this new style of coverage and have recently added more personalized extras like video calls to doctors. 

Dr. Justin Chang with Kaiser Permanente says, “we’re learning now and what our members and patients are telling us they want a level of personalization and convenience that we haven’t provided them in the past.” 

Both doctors say there is a trade-off. If you are going to only have Direct Primary Care, it’s important that you pair it with a high deductible catastrophic insurance plan, just in case there’s an emergency.

If you are looking to make the switch or want to see if this plan is right for you, Dr. Chang suggests that you consider three things. Your health condition, the costs of both plans and if you like the direct primary care physician. 

Bottom line, not all health care plans are meant for everyone. Depending on your situation, Direct Primary Care may not be cheaper, so you’ll want to do your homework, to find out if it’s right for you.