Some people call it direct medical care, some call it concierge medicine. Whatever you call it, it’s not insurance. From the point of view of most brokers and agents, it is competition.
To be fully transparent, I have been a member of a direct medical care group for nearly a year. If you are like me, you still have major medical insurance in addition to direct medical care. I am very pleased with the service and see why others are also satisfied. Why? Before, when I would call my primary care physician, it took three months to get an appointment. If I had an emergency, I was told to go to the emergency room. If I had a question, speak to his nurse. None of which I liked.
With my direct care physician, I can make a same-day appointment. He takes my calls and speaks to me on phone. He calls me to see how I am doing. I can get a 90-day supply of my hypertension medicine for $5. Through my insurance, I had a $15 copay and my prescription only covered 30 days at a time. My direct care physician can prescribe any type of medication, but he only keeps non-narcotic drugs in his office. He can also arrange for tests like an MRI, cat scan or blood tests at a big discount.
Do I like it? Yes! However, I believe direct medical care can also be used with a high-deductible major medical plan to not only reduce costs, but also deliver better service. We, as agents, must take the time to examine all new medical delivery systems being offered and try to determine which ones we can use to our benefit.
Even more direct medical care services are being developed and will enter the market on a regular basis. As agents we must study our marketplace and find ways to work with these new concepts. Otherwise, we will find ourselves on the outside looking in.