Open enrollment for 2020’s insurance plans starts November 1. This means it is time to sit down, do some number crunching and truly look at what you did or did not spend on your household’s health insurance last year. This is a very important task because once choices are made you are locked in for the year unless you have a qualifying life change (such as marriage, divorce, family birth or death).
Here are a few questions to ask yourself about your health care last year.
- Did you like and trust your doctor?
- How much did you spend out of pocket on things like co-pays, deductibles, and prescription medications?
- Did your company offer a Health Savings Account or Flexible Spending Account?
- How often did you use your insurance and was it on routine medical care or planned or unplanned care?
Oregon Health DPC is a membership-based option for those of us that are tired of half of our paychecks going to an insurance plan that we rarely use. That is why we believe Direct Primary Care to be a valid choice for patients trying to save money, but still, have all their day to day medical needs met for a very reasonable price.
We suggest that when people are looking at the health care plans offered they look at a few specific areas. Cost, of course, is the very first thing. How much of your paycheck went to your insurance last year, and did you use it to its full potential? We suggest that our current patients and potential clients look at the year ahead. Is there a known issue that will need to be taken care of? Research the costs, and see what the best option for you truly is. If you have a basically healthy family that only goes to the doctor for routine care or sick visits, look closer at DPC practices as your primary contact in healthcare, and go with the insurance plan that will take less out of your wallet monthly. Then, if available to you, enroll in an HSA or FSA so that you can pay for your membership and for other medical costs that you may incur over the year, tax-free.
On the flip side, if you or a dependent are frequent utilizers of specialists due to chronic conditions, or the hospital due to just plain bad luck, you may want to opt for a plan with fuller coverage. Second, how do you feel about your doctor? Do you trust him or her? Do you believe they know you and care about your well being? Or do you feel like a sheep with a number on its back? Direct primary care doctors and their teams got out of the big number of games because of this numbered flock mentality. While Dr. Mathai would love to say that Oregon Health DPC is the only option out there, this is simply not the truth. And part of our belief is that we want to help you do what is best for you. Dr. Mathai uses the phrase “a rising tide raises all ships” quite often! There are many Direct Primary Care Clinics in the US that feel the way we do. This website is a great resource :
So what do you get for your membership fee? Plenty, along with the peace of mind! We pride ourselves on knowing our patients and keeping up to date with what is important in their life. We are available to you whenever you need us and can trust that we will do what is best for you and your family. There are no co-pays when you come in to see us. If there is a service that is not included in the membership fee (medication, equipment) you will know before a charge is incurred and have the choice to move forward. And, remember, if you do have insurance, we will compare prices to help you save money!
There is so much more information about how to best utilize health insurance in conjunction with direct primary care. We would love to talk to you in person, so please call us anytime, or stop by! We love to help people realize that they have more choices out there, and I look forward to speaking with you.