I am writing this as the regional sales manager of an organization that has partnered with DPC practices across the country. We have symbiotic relationships with these practices to promote the direct primary care relationship and provide affordable healthcare to its members. We see the vision of a dramatic change in the healthcare industry though the combination of DPCs and medical cost sharing (HealthShare’s). To be most effective a DPC practice cannot leave its patients without coverage for catastrophic needs beyond the scope of their expertise. The question then presents itself, what is the best way for DPC members to retain this catastrophic coverage?
Many will say a high deductible health insurance plan solves the issue. The problem is that we know without any financial assistance through a subsidy, these high deductible health insurance plans are often too expensive and do not leave enough money to pay both a DPC membership and health insurance premiums each month.
The next solution that many are discovering is through the power of medical cost sharing. While this may be a more affordable choice, many of these communities are not designed to work well with DPC practices. They often have barriers that make it difficult such as:
• Requiring the setup of a separate bank account
• Religious or faith based requirements
• Excessive exclusions and limitations
• Tedious and complicated application processes
• Complicated claims/needs processing
• Not allowing for its members to use tobacco
• No allowance for alternative treatments through naturopath or homeopathic medicines.
• Annual and lifetime maximums
We have partnered with and sit on the board with a re-imagined HealthShare designed to work perfectly with the DPC models of care. Not only does this medical cost sharing community break down the barriers commonly found with most HealthShare’s, it also provides end of life assistance, list billing, direct member billing, ability to use any provider, worldwide coverage, access to health saving accounts, and competitive monthly rates (typically 30-60% less than the least expensive high deductible health insurance plans without a subsidy).
At Zion Health, they understand that not every DPC practice is created the same. Zion Health works with each DPC to see what works best, and how catastrophic coverage can be provided to its members simply and affordably. You can visit Zionhealth.org to learn more and review the member guidelines.
Written by: Timothy Hirsch
Regional Sales Manager