What’s happened to your health insurance premiums in 2017? Are you paying more for less? Many of our clients seem to be facing this worst-of-both-worlds scenario. Would a direct pay, or cash only system provide some relief?
Sometimes called direct pay, and closely related to concierge care, this sort of business model was once seen as the perquisite of rich folks and medical tourists from foreign lands. But nowadays many of the people seeking cash-based care are middle-class Americans with high-deductible insurance plans. For a patient with an $11,000 family deductible, for example, it might make more sense to seek out a cash-based center like the Premier Medical Imaging facility in Minneapolis, which offers a basic MRI for $499, than to cough up the several thousand dollars that the same procedure generally costs at a traditional hospital. Cash payments don’t count toward a patient’s deductible, but for some it’s worth the gamble.
This trend may accelerate nationally. With the Affordable Care Act on the chopping block, many experts expect the free-market model to take off. While congressional Republicans have yet to produce a viable replacement for the Obama Administration’s health care law, almost any change is likely to result in more Americans’ choosing high-deductible insurance plans, which would help fuel the cash-based marketplace for years to come.
This case study is persuasive, especially when you review the out-of-pocket under either scenario. Read the article and let us know – what do you think?