So what is direct primary care and is it right for your business? Let's take a look and see.
How Direct Primary Care Works
Direct primary care is a movement that is mostly being driven by physicians who are no longer interested in dealing with overreaching insurance companies and labyrinthine government regulations. Direct primary care is as simple as its name would imply. Physicians charge a flat monthly (or in some cases annual) fee that covers all primary care services. Direct primary care allows physicians to spend a lot less time doing paperwork and more time doing what they are actually passionate about: caring for their patients.
Pros And Cons Of Direct Primary Care For Consumers
The most notable benefit of direct primary care is its simplicity. Your physician has less busy work to do, less regulations to comply with, and as such can afford to spend more time on you individually. There are some downsides to this however. Spending more time on each patient also involves seeing less patients overall and the flat fee can price out low-income consumers who depend on government subsidies for their health insurance. Direct primary care also doesn't cover things like emergency transport, surgeries, or visits to a specialist.
The Legality Of Direct Primary Care
If all of this sounds a bit too good to be true then you're not alone in thinking that. Yes it does remove much of the regulatory overhead but it does so at a cost. A new law introduced by the Florida Legislature would provide some legitimacy to direct primary care but also makes it clear that it is not really health insurance and it does not fulfill any of the requirement set out by the ACA. The legal future of direct primary care is still up in the air and the Florida law hasn't even been signed yet making it a risky proposition for most businesses.
Sponsoring Direct Primary Care For Your Employees
When it comes to actually offering direct primary care to your employees the benefits are uncertain. A bill (S.1989) was introduced to the senate in 2015 that would qualify it as a health expense under federal tax code. That would allow you to use money in a health savings account to pay the retainer fee for direct primary care. Unfortunately the bill stalled and no further action has been taken.
If you run a small business that isn't subject to the ACA's employer shared responsibility provision but you still want to provide good, affordable coverage for your employees then paying for direct primary care is something you should definitely consider. For most other businesses it simply remains something that you should keep an eye on. Whether it will really take off remains to be seen.
For more information on purchasing affordable health insurance for your employees please contact us today. At Summerlin-Roberts we understand the importance of cutting costs without slashing benefits. We leverage our expertise in cost containment to provide the best possible benefits at the lowest possible price resulting in happier employees and cleaner budgets.