Does Direct Primary Care Save Me Money?

How a Direct Primary Care Fee Can Reduce Your Overall Medical Expenses

If there’s one thing everyone can agree on, it’s that household medical expenses are way too high. According to PwC’s Health Research Institute survey, annual medical expenses in 2024 are trending to be 7%, which is up from 5.5% in 2022.

Of course, healthcare expenses aren’t a luxury. Access to medical care is a necessary aspect of our lives, but it often comes with high costs and logistical hassles, even with affordable health insurance coverage. A reasonable monthly premium for insurance is often offset by “nickel and dime” charges for coinsurance, co-pays, and unforeseen expenses.

Americans deserve a better way – or at the very least – a competitive alternative. Direct primary care (DPC) is revolutionizing the way individuals access healthcare by emphasizing a personal relationship between patient and physician without the interference of insurance providers. This model not only saves money, but also adds significant convenience.

Keep reading to learn more about what direct primary care is and how it can help you reduce your annual medical expenses.

What Is a Direct Primary Care Plan?

Broadly speaking, a direct primary care plan is a fee-based membership that covers the member’s primary care office visits. The direct primary care fee can be charged either monthly or annually and is usually determined by the member’s age. Under the typical DPC plan, the member receives a full suite of primary care services, including:

  • Acute care for non-emergency medical conditions.
  • Preventative care, including immunizations and vaccinations.
  • Ongoing management of chronic healthcare conditions.
  • Comprehensive basic health assessments.
  • Applicable lab work and diagnostic tests at cost.

One of the major advantages of DPC memberships is that patients work with a dedicated physician. This enables doctors to really get to know their patients and the finer details of their medical profile, fostering a higher level of medical care.

Financial Benefits Of Direct Primary Care Memberships

When comparing direct primary care costs to traditional insurance models, there are some noteworthy advantages of the DPC model that enables members to reduce their medical expenses.

No copays: According to USA Today, the average copayment is $26 for primary care and $44 for specialty care. One of the most immediate benefits of a DPC membership is the absence of copays. Each visit to your DPC provider is covered by your membership, without the need for any additional payment for coinsurance at the time of the visit. This can significantly reduce your out-of-pocket costs, especially if you require frequent medical attention.

No hidden costs: It’s not uncommon for healthcare facilities to charge facility fees, fees for medical supplies, and time-related fees. To make matters worse, double-billing and inflating the cost of medical services are also known to happen. However, by transitioning to a DPC plan where everything is covered under a flat fee, patients will save money while simplifying their medical bills.

At-cost or discounted lab work: Direct primary care practices can offer lab work at cost or at significantly discounted prices. This can result in substantial savings, particularly for those who regularly require blood tests or other types of tests. By bypassing traditional insurance markup costs associated with laboratory services, patients can more economically manage their health.

Conveniences Added By Direct Primary Care Memberships

Even with an affordable health insurance plan, the typical patient faces a myriad of inconveniences when attempting to access essential medical care. Long wait times, short appointments that accomplish very little, and other pain points are common with traditional healthcare models. Let’s explore how the DPC model addresses that:

Same-day and next-day appointments: DPC practices enhance access and convenience. Unlike traditional primary care providers, DPC doctors cap how many patients they are responsible for. This means members can enjoy the luxury of same-day or next-day appointments, making it easier to see their doctor as soon as health issues arise. This is a significant improvement over traditional models, where patients may wait weeks for an appointment.

24/7 direct access to your primary care provider: Perhaps one of the most significant benefits of the DPC model is the ability to directly contact your primary care provider at any time. This can be via text, phone, or email, ensuring that you receive medical advice whenever you need it, without the barriers of call centers or third-party operators.

Personalized care from a physician who knows you: With DPC, physicians typically have fewer patients than those in traditional settings. This allows them to spend more time with each patient, fostering a deeper understanding of their health history and needs. Such personalized care not only enhances the quality of healthcare but also contributes to more efficient and targeted health management strategies, potentially reducing the need for more costly specialist care or emergency visits in the future.

Reduce Your Medical Expenses With Direct Primary Care

Direct primary care is not just an alternative method of accessing medical services; it’s a profound improvement on the traditional healthcare model. By offering primary care services under an affordable flat fee with no charges for copays or coinsurance, the DPC model can drastically reduce the average American’s medical expenses.

Other member advantages like same-day appointments and 24/7 direct physician access serve to improve the level of medical care received. For those looking for a more personal, accessible, and cost-effective healthcare solution, direct primary care is undoubtedly worth considering. It’s not just about saving money; it’s also about investing in a quality of care that prioritizes the patient’s needs and convenience above all else. Contact a DPC provider near you to get started.