You can save money a number of ways but you have to be willing to break from routine thinking. That mindset is where Direct Primary Care came from. Some innovators saw a new way of thinking about how to manage medicine, when in reality it is an old way of thinking about medicine. This is what we did fifty years ago. We didn’t use insurance when we went to the doctor. ERs would see a few people a day, the ones who needed to be there versus today when it is a place of convenience. Let’s take a step back away from what we have been doing and look at the big picture, ignoring what your insurance company is telling you to do.
One way to do that is to realize you do not have to get insurance through your employer and just get it for you and your family. Clark Howard recommends this because it gives you more control over what is in it and if you change jobs you take it with you.
Another idea is to get a nontraditional insurance. One of the Christian-based insurances can save you a lot of money. Examples are Medishare (Christian Care Ministries),
Samaritan Ministries, Liberty, and Christian Healthcare Ministries. They are approved by Obamacare so no penalties. They do not have to feed stockholders and excessive administrative personnel so they save you 40% that the other insurance companies charge to “take care of you”. I just started with Medishare. My rates with BCBS POS with a $6000+ deductible went from $800/month to $1,800/month in 2 years so I decided not to contribute to their disgusting process of raising rates to pad their pockets. With Medishare and a $10,000 deductible my rates are now around $300/month. So in less than 7 months I will have saved enough money, compared to BCBS, to meet my deductible if I needed. These alternative insurances are not great at paying for Primary Care, but then again they shouldn’t be. INSURANCE IS FOR CATASTROPHIC EVENTS ONLY.
Next place to save is with Goodrx. It is an app or you can go on your computer and look up prescription medications. This will show you which pharmacy will give you the cheapest rate for a medication. This is for cash only and not filed through insurance. There can be significant savings in medication by doing this.
If you need a CT scan, MRI or ultrasound contact us first. I have a listing of the self pay cash rates for 5 different facilities. I do not have a hospital listed since I can tell you they are the most expensive. The quality is the same.
If you are strongly suggestive of having Obstructive Sleep Apnea (a condition where you stop breathing while sleeping) and you have a high deductible, do not go through the testing process because each phase can cost $400-$2,000 depending on how it is done.
Instead, just buy an Auto-Pap for $500 and it will tell you if you have it and if you do then you have already bought the machine and saved yourself up to $4,000. If you do not have it or cannot tolerate it, then sell it on Craig’s List.
Why are you running off to see specialists without seeing us first. Most medical issues can
be dealt with in the less expensive Primary Care setting. You do not need to see an Orthopedist first because your knees hurt or a Cardiologist because your blood pressure is up, or a Dermatologist because you have a new mole on your arm. We should be used as a screening tool to determine if a specialist is needed. And besides, all of these evaluations are included in the Vickery Direct Care Plan and is no extra expense to you.
Whenever you do see a specialist, Physical Therapist, Optomotrist, Dentist, Audiologist, etc, ask them what their cash price is up front. Let them know you are willing to pay cash and not file it through insurance for a discounted fee. A great number of practices are willing to do this at much lower costs.