Monday, November 18, 2013

Is concierge medicine right for you?

I don't know how to answer that question. Insurance is so screwed up now, no one knows anything! And this isn't ending soon.

But the WSJ had a story on Nov 11, 2013, by Jan Wieczner, that explored the world of so-called concierge medicine, a sort of hybrid of pay-as-you-go and insurance that is also supposed to get you more personal attention.

There is a variety of it called VIP medicine, where for huge monthly payments, you get the red carpet treatment in treatments.

Now, this is being dialed back to be available to the so-called middle class. Think paying $50 to $100 for basic primary care.

Of the 5,500 concierge practices, two-thirds charge less than $135 a month. The number of such practices is soaring by 25% a year.

The higher end ones bill insurance in addition to the monthly fee. The lower end ones usually don't accept insurance. (How this will fit with our being FORCED to have insurance, you tell me. Obamacare does allow direct primary care to count as compliant if it's bundled with catastrophic care for emergencies, but I heard catastrophic care policies are frowned on.)

The people who get both health insurance and concierge figure the deductibles will make them pay for most if not everything out of pocket, anyhow, so might as well have an accessible doctor. Some employer policies are now being built around this model.

The lower end ones usually have a list of procedures with a price--like a menu. Discounts can be considerable.

So--basically--you are paying either way...You have to cost it out.

When you got up this morning, did you know you have to become an insurance agent?

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