The last post introduced Direct Family Medicine and linked it to Direct Primary Care, including five web sites for DPC companies/ practices. As you look at those five sites, you notice some basic information about DPC including the "who, what, why where when and how" of DPC. What it is and how it works are good starting points eventually leading one to the "What does it cost?" question.
Cost in health care is a mysterious concept at times. For the uninsured family in which the breadwinner(s) are unemployed as a result of the misfortunes abounding in the economy of the US and the world, they may be looking for a survival level of health care for acute needs and well child care. Can they just go to Urgent Care for acute illnesses and well child care? Do they want a personal Family Physician, for continuity, security and quality (and response to phone calls at night)? It's very personal with each person and their family as to what costs they might be willing to incur for what purpose.
If a family is in the situation mentioned in the above example, they might find reference to Direct Primary Care or Direct Family Medicine on the internet, in the phone directory or through word of mouth. If they see the five web sites on my previous blog post, they notice, when it comes to costs, a variety of fees for the different practices. The categories of fees come down to a common list:
Registration, Monthly or Yearly Membership Fee, and Copays all for basic Family Medicine (or Primary Care) plus extra fees for tests, procedures and other non-covered services available in the Family Physician's office.
The registration/enrollment fee for an individual varies from $30 to $100 (Many note that they have a family discount for regiatration/enrollment, $99 is the Qliance family registration).
The monthly fee paid on the last day of the month (to avoid being an insurance company) varies from $30 to $169, some of which are level fees for all ages, up to a graduated monthly fee schedule for Qliance by age ranges.
The copay's vary from $10 to $49 (Medlion for patients with annual fee of $199)
How does a family evaluate these options? How would you evaluate these options?
Please peruse the five sites as you consider your responses. (Health Access Rhode Island has a chart comparing regular health insurance fees to their model). More later.